Anytime I start to think about eating healthier breakfasts, I think of granola. I love the idea of granola – crunchy, earthy and wholesome. Granola makes me think of nature, of weekends backpacking in the woods, of trees and blue skies…
But do not trust granola, my friends – granola can be deceptive. Most granola, especially store-bought, is loaded with fat and calories. So a few months ago, I went on a search for a healthy, tasty homemade granola that I could eat without guilt.
I finally found a recipe that sounded good – no oil, no dried fruits or raisins (I am NOT a fan of raisins). The oats and nuts are held together by a banana mixture that you whir up in a blender. No muss, no fuss. I made it a few times, changing it a bit each time, until I got it just the way I wanted.
My sister perfers a crunchier granola, so she likes it broken into smaller peices and cooked until it’s all a dark brown. I like my granola to be a little softer with a chewy center, so I leave it in bigger chunks. Hey, to each their own, right?
(Original recipe found here.)
If you consider it 6 servings (3/4 cup each), it’s about 200 calories per serving. If you’re just using it as a topping on yogurt, you’ll probably get more servings (and consequently, less calories per serving. Woo hoo!).
- 2 heaping cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- a large pinch of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the oats, sunflower seeds and walnuts in a medium size bowl. Set aside for now.
In a blender, combine the bananas, water, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Blend until smooth. It does turn a funny brown color – don’t worry.
Mix the banana mixture into the oat mixture. Let sit for about 10 minutes – this gives the oats a chance to soak up some of that banana goodness.
Dump the granola onto a cookie sheet and spread it out to make a single layer. Don’t worry that it looks sort of wet – as it cooks, it will crisp up.
Bake the granola for about 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, break up the granola with a spatula and toss it around. Make the granola chunks as large or as small as you wish. When it’s all brown and crispy, it’s done!
Now I can enjoy healthy granola with a light heart and happy tummy. What a great way to start the day!