Granola is one of the most common breakfast foods. It’s made from oats, fruits, nuts and seeds. Some people love it while others hate it – there are so many conflicting opinions on when it weathered for you! But what is the real story? Is granola healthy? Let’s take a closer look…
While granola may seem relatively healthy at first glance, its ingredients can vary widely depending on your recipe. For example, some commercial granolas contain large amounts of sugar or fat that significantly increase their calorie content and can negatively affect your health. These types of granolas are something to avoid.
On the other hand, there are plenty of homemade granola options that are much less processed and contain wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, seeds, dried fruits, nuts, and spices. The benefits of granola types are a far better choice for your health since they contain less sugar and fat. They also tend to have more fibre which helps you feel full longer – perfect for anyone trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight! Overall, it seems that if you make your homemade granola at home using healthy ingredients, then yes – it can be a very healthy option to include in any diet!
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Types of granola
Granola is traditionally either baked or raw. Baked granola has been heated at a low temperature for several hours or overnight, while raw granola hasn’t been cooked. Many people prefer baked granola because it tends to be crunchier than raw granola, but it depends on your tastes and preferences! Another popular granola type is “oats only”: a version made without nuts and dried fruit that’s especially good for those allergic or sensitive to these common ingredients in standard granola recipes. Granola bars are similar to traditional granola types but are available in a convenient, handheld form.
Tips for making your granola
If you’re ready to take the plunge and try making granola at home, these simple tips should help you get off on the right foot:
1. Start with quality ingredients
Choosing good-quality ingredients will help you achieve great results. It may be tempting to make shortcuts while cooking at home, but don’t cut corners with this recipe! For example, instead of buying generic oats from the bulk bin at your local health food store, spring for organic or all-natural options instead. The same goes for nuts — shop for raw nuts that have been minimally processed to reap all the benefits without unnecessary additives. And hydrated dried fruit is a must!
2. Use flavorful ingredients
Instead of using basic cinnamon and vanilla extract, try using spices like cardamom or star anise to give the delicious granola flavours that will keep you coming back for more! You can also add other natural flavour boosters such as raw honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, pureed pumpkin, cocoa powder, or matcha powder.
3. Customize it to your liking
Once you have all the right ingredients, feel free to experiment with different combinations. Don’t be afraid to get creative; if you prefer sweeter versions of this healthy breakfast food, add extra sugar and perhaps some dried fruit. For a savoury, nutty twist, try using less sugar and subbing in sesame or sunflower seeds.
4. Make it crunchy!
To get that special granola texture, you’re going to you’ll fat — whether that’s built or even peanut b, peanut. You c, can add whole nuts to the mix (as long as they don’t overpower the other ingredients) for another layer of crunchiness! These additions help hold your granola together while it bakes and give it added nutrition; they also make this healthy treat delicious.
5. Wait to overcook your granola
Cooking it too long will result in burnt granola and a bitter flavour. Please don’t overdo it! Aim for the shortest cooking time possible and check your granola around the 25-minute mark. If it seems like it needs more time, add a few additional minutes at a time until you reach your desired level of crunchiness.
Other potential health benefits of granola include:
1. It helps to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
2. It promotes satiety, or feelings of fullness, which can help you control your appetite and lose weight.
3. Because it is rich in fibre and protein, granola can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent hunger spikes that lead to overeating.
Granola is often thought of as a healthy breakfast cereal. This is because it contains a lot of good nuts and grains. On average, one serving of granola (1/2 cup) has around 220 calories, seven grams of protein, 10 per cent or more of the daily recommended amount for calcium and iron, and four to six grams each of dietary fibre and omega-3. Still, some granola types may need to be healthier due to the typical ingredients used in making them. For example, many brands add extra sugar or honey, which can make them less nutritious than they seem at first glance. The best way to ensure your granola is healthful is by making it yourself, so you know exactly what’s going into it!
6 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if desired)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
One teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¾ cup maple syrup or honey (or agave nectar for a vegan option)
½ cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil*
In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts and salt. Add the sweetener and oil, and use your hands to coat everything thoroughly. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the granola around. Bake another 10-20 minutes until deeply browned. Watch carefully, as it can burn very quickly with the sugars in the mixture! Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container or jar. It will remain crunchy for up to one month but can be eaten immediately.
Remember to try your homemade granola in a parfait, on top of yoghurt or as cereal with milk.
Tips for making the perfect granola every time:
As mentioned above, be careful not to let the mixture burn. Have you ever burnt toast? The same thing can happen with granola! Be sure to take it out of the oven and stir it around during baking, so you don’t end up with something too dark or crunchy. If that happens, add more sweetener and oil next time and see if that helps soften it back up again. Another option is to bake the oats at a higher temperature for 15 minutes before turning down the heat and letting them cook without burning.
Making Your Granoranola can be tricky, so I’d like to offer you some tips I have learned over time to help keep the process simple (especially when it comes to baking). Here are the main things I have found to be true:
The bigger you cut your oats, the crunchier they will turn out and vice-versa. If you want something flakier, use larger pieces of oat and vice versa. Remember that different recipes may call for different-sized oats due to their preferences or desired outcome. Having said all this, play with it until you get it right for your goal.
Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature of your ingredients. If you make a recipe that calls for melted coconut oil, it will be difficult to create granola since it will turn into ‘clumped’ pieces instead of individual ones. The same applies when adding liquid such as honey or syrup. If tare is added, they aren’t warm first. On the other hand, if you only use dry ingredients, then there would be no need to warm them up before mixing everything! It all depends on what outcome you want and how much effort you want to put into it.
While granola is healthy and delicious, it has some downsides that you should be aware of. First, granola can get expensive. Initially, this is a bit of an investment, but once you buy your ingredients in bulk, the price decreases significantly. Plus, not only will you save by making your granola at home instead of buying it from the store or deli, but you’ll also save time since making homemade granola allows you to prepare it fresh every day. Another downside is that many commercial brands are loaded with added sugar, which turns your healthy snack into a sugary treat packed with empty calories. But make sure to avoid these unhealthy brands and stick to the ones with a short list made from real ingredients.