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
As I’ve mentioned in the past, eating healthy does not need to be complicated.
And contrary to popular belief, it does not take any longer to prepare a nutritious meal than it does any other type of meal.
The bottom line is this:
Preparing meals – whether nutritious or not – takes time.
Lord knows I am the first one on line when it comes to learning a new short cut in the kitchen, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that whether you are making a 30-minute meal, an all day Sunday feast or a 2-minute Banana Split Breakfast Bite, you first have to make the decision to take the time to do so.
This morning, when I got home from the gym, Katie was taking an unusually early nap on her Daddy’s chest so I decided to take the time to make some Banana Split Breakfast Bites.
Walk with me…
Almond butter slathered between two fat banana slices, bathed in thick, creamy, Greek yogurt, and then rolled in sweet, crunchy granola. OMG – I have to tell you guys, when you pop one of these into your mouth it’s like a party, a hug, and some new shoes all at the same time!
And while I had a bit of extra time to put a little extra TLC into breakfast this morning you could accomplish the same outcome with even less time yet.
The only difference is that instead of Banana Bites you would be making a Banana Bowl:
And while the bowl takes less time, you still have to take the time to make it.
Just know that if you opt for the bowl you need to be sure to get a little bit of everything on your spoon for each bite (which takes time), this way you can still experience the glory of the Banana Bite in just a little less time.
Banana Split Breakfast Bites
Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- ½ large banana
- 1 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter you prefer)
- 1/3-cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3-cup granola (My fave is the Whole Foods store brand)
Place yogurt and granola into small shallow bowls and set aside.
Slice the banana into nice thin slices. Then put a small dollop of almond butter on one banana slice and place another on top to make a banana butter sandwich.
Then dip the banana butter sandwich into the yogurt and then roll it around in the granola. Repeat these simple steps with the rest of your banana slices.
Sit down with a cup of coffee and pop them into your mouth… slowly… one at a time. Holy yum!
Nutrients Per Serving: Calories: 364; Total Fat: 20.9g; Saturated Fat: 1.6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 28mg; Carbohydrate: 36.2 g; Dietary Fiber: 6.3g; Sugars: 17.5g; Protein: 15.4g