Saturday, October 11, 2008

good for you granola

Granola is packed with hearty, filling, nutritious goodness.  It can also be packed with calories.  I looked at a few recipes, did some tweaking, altered some ingredients and came up with this delicious alternative to the high-fat, expensive stuff in a box.

As usual, you can adjust some things to your liking.  Switch up what nuts/seeds you use, alternate the dried fruit.  Do what you want.  A little of this goes a long way.  One serving is about a 1/2 cup with 230 calories.  Sprinkle it on your yogurt, douse it with milk, warm it up on a cold morning for a hot treat.

4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flax seed, slightly ground in food processor or blender
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Preheat your oven to 300 F.  
Mix oats, wheat germ, flax and nuts.  In another bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, applesauce, honey, vanilla and water.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until well coated.
Spray 2 9X13" pans with cooking spray and divide mixture evenly.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
Once the granola has cooled a bit, add in cranberries and apricots and keep in an airtight container.  Makes about 18 servings.

This is a fiber-rich, protein packed, hunger-curbing breakfast that will keep you going all morning.  Did you know cinnamon naturally keeps your blood sugar from crashing?  And the flax seed has omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart, clearer thinking, and beautiful skin.  Every ingredient does something good for your body - and how fun is it to say you made it yourself?

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