Good-for-you Granola

At last I have had granola making success! I have made countless different types of granola in the past but some of them end up slightly burned and crunchy, some of them end up tasteless and some of them end up too soggy.

Today’s version I declare to be perfect! Try it and see!

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It is chocka full of great-for-you goodies and as I was chucking them all in I thought I’d actually do a teeny bit of research into what they all are, what they all do and why they are all reportedly so good for you…..

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Good-for-you Granola

  • Servings: a huge tub full
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

So this is what went in:
Oats, 3 cups
Desiccated coconut, 1 cup
Hazelnuts chopped, 1/2 cup
Hemp seeds, 1/2 cup
Cocoa nibs, 1/2 cup
Chia seeds, 1/4 cup
Flax seeds, 1/4 cup
Maca powder, 1/4 cup

Mixed together and mixed with:
Maple syrup, 1 cup
Honey, 1/2 cup
Cashew butter, 1/3 cup

Baked at 160c for 30mins checking every 10mins and stir gently then mix with:
Sour cherries, 1 cup
Pecans, 1 cup
Coconut flakes, 1/2 cup
Hazelnuts whole, 1/2 cup

Maca powder is something I’ve seen in a few recipes for energy balls and granola bars and porridge oats etc and when I saw some in Lakeland I grabbed a pot, not really knowing anything about it. Today is the first time I’ve used it so it’s probably a good idea to research it!

Maca powder and root
Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient.

Apparently it’s rich in vitamins B C, and E as well as providing plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. It’s supposed to boost to your libido and at the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility. It can relieve menstrual issues and menopause. It is widely reported to increase your energy levels and stamina and could help increase muscle mass. Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. And lastly it can help overcome anxiety, stress, depression and mood swings.

Hemp seeds I’d never heard of either but apparently it’s considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants.

hemp-seeds-whole-and-shelledThey contain all of the essential amino acids along with magnesium, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin E and potassium along with fiber. They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes combined with a relative absence of sugar, starches and saturated fats.

People say that Hemp Seeds are one of nature’s perfect foods – a Super Food.

Raw hemp provides a broad spectrum of health benefits, including: weight loss, increased and sustained energy, rapid recovery from disease or injury, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced inflammation, improvement in circulation and immune system as well as natural blood sugar control. Along with flax oil and flax seeds, hemp seeds are one of the best vegetarian and vegan sources of Omega 3s and Omega 6s.

Onto flax seeds then….
IMG_4020Flax seed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss.

The flax seed nutrition profile makes it easy to see why it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet: it includes omega 3, finer, protein, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium all in high percentages, as well as vitamin B6, iron, potassium, copper and zinc.

It also has some unique features including its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Among all 127 World’s Healthiest Foods, flaxseeds comes out number one as a source of omega-3s. The second unique feature of flaxseed is its lignans. Lignans are fiber-like compounds, but in addition to their fiber-like benefits, they also provide antioxidant protection. And the  third is their mucilage (gum) content that can provide special support to the intestinal tract.

More seeds…..this time Chia seeds.

14-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds

Rich in nutrients and so easy to use, they can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridge, puddings, and baked goods, and even included into your smoothies, breakfasts, yogurt, salads, quinoa and veggie dishes. They also have an amazing ability to absorb water and fat, so they can be used to thicken sauces or as a vegan egg substitute in recipes too!

Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, organic, raw, Non-GMO, non-irradiated, and produced without pesticides which means they’re one of the world’s purest seeds. The fiber in chia seeds also help to support your digestive system and they are about 14% protein, which is high compared to most plants. Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products as well as being high in several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.

They have the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fibre and protein can help repair cells, reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive system. They can also help promote healthy skin, hair and nails as well as helping to lower cholesterol, improve intestinal health and can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Lastly, Cacao nibs, something I only read about very recently, are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and broken into smaller pieces.images

Cacao nibs have a chocolatey taste, but they’re not sweet like chocolate, because they have no sugar in them. Their flavour can also vary depending on how much they are roasted, with hints of fruity or nutty flavours.

Cacao beans are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, high in fibre and iron as well as being a powerful antioxidants. And everyone knows that eating chocolate makes you feel good right?  Just the same way Cacao stimulates the brain to release particular neurotransmitters that can trigger emotions — including good ones like euphoria. Yay!

So who knew that one bowl of granola could have so much super-food goodness in it? Just eating it makes you feel healthier! And more virtuous than having a sugar laden bowl of shop bought cereal for your breakfast. So dig in, throw in whatever fruits and nuts you like, but don’t forget to add in your super food goodies: chia, hemp & flax seeds, maca powder & cacao nibs, for the most nutritional benefit from your breakfast!

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