Clean Eating Almond Granola
I spent many years NOT eating granola.
I pretty much viewed it as a highly addictive, crunchy, delicious, high calorie, sugar trap that I was better off without!
But everything changed after I had Katie. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it to you guys but I delivered Katie at home.
Yes, yes… I’m that crazy lady who opted to go for a natural delivery with no drugs or intervention in the comfort of my own home. And while it really was an AMAZING experience (that I am planning to do for the birth of my second baby as well) it was also CRAZY, INTENSE, and nothing I could have ever been truly prepared for.
The one thing that I remember being least prepared for was the first few days of life with a new born baby. I really didn’t realize that every waking second of the day would be wrapped around healing my body from the trials and tribulations of child birth AND trying to get new baby to breast feed.
I think the hardest part of having a home birth was not having a nurse to deliver me my meals while I was knee deep in nurturing a new born and transitioning from hip-carefree-wife-without-kids to Mommy!
But thanks to some amazing friends, family and neighbors we managed to get through those first few days relying on lots of care packages, snacks, and meals that would help nourish us into this new chapter of life.
How does this relate to granola you ask? It’s simple.
Of all of the delicious food we had received, it was a box of granola from Whole Foods that I remember the most!
First off, it was deeelicious. But even more than that, I could eat some of that granola along with a banana and some peanut butter and I was good to go for HOURS (which was perfect during a time in my life when eating was not a top priority).
Needless to say, once Katie grew a little older I didn’t need to be eating 600 calories in one sitting but I still craved that delicious granola. And since we all know that Whole foods can be a bit pricey, I figured it was due time to do my best to imitate the granola that I had fallen so head over heels for.
One of the things that I loved the most about the WF granola, was that it was higher in fat and protein and lower in sugar and carbs (because as we all know, there are some granolas out there that are equivilant to cake and cookies!)
So when I set out to make this recipe I tried to load up on the nuts and seeds (healthy fats and protein) while keeping the sugar components a bit lower.
The final result was a happy balance between the type of nutritional profile I was looking for with great flavor. Now that’s my kind of granola!
Try enjoying this granola sprinkled over some low-fat greek yogurt, mixed in with your favorite cereal or wrapped around these delicious little Banana Split Bites.
It also makes a great travel snack when your on the road and is perfect for a little pre/post workout fuel!
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/3 cup of pecans, chopped
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup whole raw almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1 tbsp grape seed oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup chopped dried fruit (I like apricots, cherries and golden raisins)
Pre-heat oven to 300
Combine oats through allspice in a large bowl.
In a separate small bowl combine grape seed oil through kosher salt and mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and combine until all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet mixture.
Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Pop baking sheet back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the granola is lightly golden.
Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Makes 4 cups (8 -> 1/2cup servings)
Nutrients per 1/2-cup: Calories: 284; Total Fat: 14.1g; Saturated Fat: 1.2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 34.1g; Dietary Fiber: 5.3g; Sugars: 15.9g; Protein: 7.7g