Byline: Andrea Hood
Are you a fan of that yummy granola you can buy at the store? Don’t get me wrong – most of it is pretty delicious – a perfect combination of crunchy and sweet.
But have you ever taken a good look at the ingredients and nutritional information? More often then not there is one particular ingredient that is first or second on the list – meaning that’s the main ingredient used in the granola.
That ingredient: SUGAR.
Sugar is a hot topic lately and chances are you’ve heard about the harmful effects it has on your body. There’s a lot of great information out there, so I’m going to give you a short summarized list about sugar and why you should avoid it.
- Sugar increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
- Sugar is highly addictive – some say even more addictive than drugs like cocaine and heroine. Your body literally craves the sweet stuff and if it doesn’t get it you can suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings, and drowsiness.
- Sugar spikes your blood sugar, which in turn, increases your waist line. If you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight, sugar is your worst enemy.
- Sugar is found in the vast majority of processed foods – breads, cereals, juice, soda, and those not-so-yummy frozen dinners (yup – even the “diet” brands).
Now if you weren’t aware of this prior to reading this article, do not beat yourself up! I honestly didn’t know until a few years ago myself when I became a health coach, started reading labels, and started researching the effects of sugar on the body.
Fear not – you can still enjoy your favorite foods, like granola, without having to worry about the negative effects of sugar.
I have a delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Granola recipe I’m sharing with you below that is easy to make and contains only a bit of natural sweetener. So skip the store bought stuff that is loaded with sugar, and give this recipe a try!
Homemade Gluten-Free Granola Recipe
Makes approximately 5.5 cups
- 3 cups Gluten-Free Oats (not the quick cooking variety as they are overly processed)
- 1/2 cup raw organic almonds
- 1/2 cup raw organic cashews
- 1/2 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup organic grade B maple syrup
- 1/3 cup raw organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds into a high speed blender or food processor. Give them a rough chop so they are in small pieces. Empty them into a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and use your hands to throughly combine.
- Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until the oats are slightly firm. Be careful not to overcook, because the mixture can burn.
- Let the granola cool and store it in containers – I love using Mason Jars with reusable lids.
My favorite way to eat this yummy granola: 1 cup of frozen blueberries, topped with 1/2 cup Homemade Gluten-Free Granola, with 1 cup of almond milk poured on top. DELISH!
What’s your favorite way to eat granola? Share below in the comments – I’d love to hear from you :)
Andrea Hood is a passionate Certified Holistic Health Coach, foodie, and localvore who loves playing in the kitchen. She helps women live healthier, happier, and more energized lives by running online nutrition programs and a business mentorship program for health and wellness professionals. Get free weekly recipes and health coaching tips at www.andreahood.com.