Homemade Granola Recipe :
Believe me, nobody was as crushed as I was when I first learned that my favorite cereals like Cap’n crunch and Count Chocula were off the menu. It was 2008 and I was as sick as a dog, but I wasn’t going to miss hearing Jordan Rubin speak at my local health food store. I learned a lot from him about nutrition that day, including just how detrimental the standard american breakfast of cold cereal is to our health. Since most American children will sit down to a bowl of cereal in the morning, let’s take a closer look at the nutrition in today’s breakfast cereals.
Well it turns out there really isn’t much to talk about nutrition wise! But there IS plenty else to talk about. Cereal goes through a process called extrusion. This is the heating of grains that are mixed with water and sugar, they endure high temperatures so they can be formed into their shapes. The final product is a highly processed food loaded with sugar and stripped of it’s nutrients, which is why they then fortify the cereal with synthetic vitamins and minerals. Not to mention our grain supply (especially wheat and corn) is universally moldy. The mycotoxins (mold toxins) the the mold spew have been proven to be the cause of many diseases including cancer.
Another fact – the cereal marketed to children has 85% more sugar than those targeted toward adults. In fact, many of the cereals we all know, and unfortunately love, are 35-40% sugar by weight. So what’s the big deal you ask? We have all heard sugar is bad for us but do you know why? Studies are finding sugar to be the culprit in many of today’s preventable diseases and is even linked to cancer. According to Dr. Mercola, even a cancer center (Cancer Centers of America) recognize this link and put their cancer patients on a strict low sugar diet. Sugar is just one ingredient, lets talk about what else is in that box. Most breakfast cereals (and almost all of kids cereals) have artificial colors and flavors, which, like sugar, may also turn out to be carcinogens (cause cancer). For a full list of artificial colors used in this country and the known side effects click here. Recently the Kellog’s company has promised to remove artificial colors and flavors from a few of their cereals including froot loops and applejacks by 2018. Good for them (I guess?) but unfortunately you still wouldn’t be left with a meal you’d want your child to ingest. Most cereals also include the preservatives BHA and BHT which the Department of Health and Human Services has classified as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” (there’s that word again). Sounds awful doesn’t it?
Lets move on to the good news. There are still some breakfast options that are just as quick and easy as a boxed cereal in the morning. We recently made our own granola and I was surprised at how easy and fast it was! It took only 5 minutes to prepare before putting in the oven and it tastes fantastic. It’s been our new favorite breakfast for weeks now. Once you make the granola you can store it in a zip lock bag, then just sprinkle the granola over yogurt and add fruit. Now there’s a power breakfast to get your kids day started!
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup nuts (I mixed ½ cup of almonds with ½ cup cashews)
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt (or a tad less if using salted nuts)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbs melted organic lightly salted butter
- 2 tbs simple syrup (this is simply boiling 2 tbs xylitol with 2 tbs water) and adding it to your mix
- Heat oven to 300 degrees
- Boil xylitol and water and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients including your simple syrup (boiled xylitol and water mixture).
- Spread mixture on greased cookie sheet. You can also grease parchment paper then place that on the cookie sheet for easy clean up.
- Bake for approximately 15-19 minutes. Until golden brown. Let cool before moving. Mixture will get crispier as it cools. Store in air tight container or zip lock bag.