Granola is marketed as a health food, but given the loads of sugar in many brands, you’d be better off with a Krispy Kreme donut. Or two. In fact, the New York Times recently called granola “junk food in disguise,” noting that while a Nature Valley variety can have 30 grams of sugar per cup, a slice of chocolate cake – with icing – has 26.
So if your family’s looking for a snack, let them eat cake!
Okay, not really. Before you reach for Sara Lee, consider that there are significant health benefits to granola eaten in moderation. It’s an effective digestive aid and can reduce cholesterol (thanks, soluble and insoluble fiber), can help prevent anemia (iron), and is a good source of vitamin E. (Fun fact: Granola was invented in 1863 by a doctor at a Danville, NY health spa called Our Home on the Hillside.)
Like most foods, the method of preparation has a big impact on how beneficial, or not, granola is for you. A bunch of carbs cooked in fat produces molecules your body can’t digest. What kind of sweetener is used, and how much, makes a difference. So you have to look at the label to see whether you’re eating something good for you, or dessert moonlight-ing as health food.
2 cups organic rolled oats (can be gluten-free)
1 cup organic barley
1 cup organic sliced almonds
1 cup organic chopped walnuts
1 cup organic sunflower seeds
1 cup organic pumpkin seeds
1 cup organic chopped dates
1 cup organic dried fruit (can be raisins, strawberries, apricots or whatever you chose )
1 cup organic coconut manna (the white meat of the coconut)
1 tbsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
Optional: 1/2 cup organic cocoa nibs
Optional: 1/2 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix barley, almonds, walnuts, seeds, dates, dried fruit and coconut manna in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add in cinnamon and toss together.
4. Massage in coconut oil with hands. To make the granola to clump together, add in a vegan egg substitute (like aquafaba)
5. Place in roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven turn, and put back for 10 minutes. You should be able to smell it toasting, but remove from oven before the dried fruit burns.
6. Let cool on rack. If you want the granola to clump, let it cool completely before taking it out of the pan.
8. Enjoy with any of our delicious organic, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable Living Juices! You can't go wrong with vegan granola and juice!