Saturday, March 30, 2013

Granola- is it really as healthy as you thought?

Ok, well now that you're a little focused you can see that granola is the topic of the day. Since going gluten-free in the last 3 weeks I'm beginning to understand how hard it is for people with allergies like this to eat on a daily basis. No, I'm not allergic to gluten or anything like that but my nutritionist thought it might be good to cut it out since when I added it back in after losing my 20 pounds since July that my doesn't handle it right. For that, I'll blame it on the pcos.

Anyway, off on a tangent I went so back to the granola.....One of the things that my nutritionist suggested was to eat steel cut oats and I found a great deal on them a few weeks ago at a local organic and natural store which I was so psyched to be able to go through- I could spend hours in those places! Since finding such a great deal on the oats, I decided to start making granola to keep on hand and take to work with organic plain yogurt that I can add some fruit to. Well, finding a granola recipe I liked was a little harder than I thought and I finally found one that isn't hard to make, has only 5 ingredients that I always keep on hand and is healthy for me.

Going back to the title of this post- granola isn't always healthy, meaning that sometimes it has so many high calorie items in it or even tons of added sugars and things that aren't healthy that when we eat it and assume that since it's granola, that it's healthy- we're actually doing more harm than good! I've been realizing how many additives are in all of our foods nowadays and if I can make something like this in a matter of 5 minutes of prep and 10-15 minutes in the oven then I'm going to plan on it! Knowing what goes into your food is so important! Why would you want extra additives and things in it that you don't need? Everything I put into my body, I'm responsible for choosing and making the decisions and it's important to me to know that I'm putting only healthy things in. Well, onto the recipe and off of my soap-box regarding the health and etc of society's choices.......sorry, didn't mean to rant at you!

After much ado and searching, I've found my perfect recipe thanks to and their dedication to finding the top 10 peanut butter recipes (or so they say!). This granola recipe is so easy and has just enough peanut butter to taste it in every bite but not too much to overwhelm since I still want to taste the yogurt and fruit in my lunch or snack.

Peanut Butter Granola

Sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt or enjoyed on its own, this peanut butter granola is made with pantry staples, making it an easy recipe to whip up without making a special trip to the grocery store.

Makes four ¼ c servings

2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.
Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture. Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7 -8 minutes until granola is slightly browned. Let cool until granola is crunchy.

I love this sweet and crunch recipe so much that I make a double batch. Don't be afraid to estimate the ingredients as you go, tasting, testing and checking as you go for your preferences. I just use a giant serving spoon to measure out the peanut butter, squirt in enough honey to equal the peanut butter, sprinkle in some cinnamon and pour in enough vanilla to make the mixture thin so it coats the oats. It's quite a sticky mess once it's all mixed together but it's soo worth it- especially licking your hands afterewards before the baking part. Of course to test the granola to see if it's done, you have to continue tasting! By the end of the baking and cooling process, I've probably eaten a whole serving without the yogurt but adding the sweet and smooth in with the sweet and crunchy makes for a great treat! Try it out and see what you think!

What's your favorite healthy treat or snack? Is there something that you constantly go back to and will never get enough of because it's just sooo good? Feel free to share and your recipe might be my next favorite!

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