Granola has often been unmasked as an “unhealthy food with a healthful reputation”, and for good reason. Many commercial granolas contain lots of oil and added sugars, and very little actual nutrition.
A true shame, because granola can potentially be a nutrient-rich breakfast or snack. This is where this recipe comes in. Not only is it low in added sugars and oil, it is also full of nuts and seeds (hence the “kitchen raid” moniker), all of which offer a wide variety of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. The accompanying photograph, by the way, is the granola prior to being baked.
You are, of course, more than welcome to customize this to your liking. For example, you can use hazelnuts and almonds instead of pecans or walnuts (or, for a nut-free version, sub in pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds). Similarly, if cacao powder isn’t your thing (wow, really?), you can instead spice it up with pumpkin pie spice.
I find that the combination of six different nuts and seeds keeps this granola interesting. That said, I understand not everyone has them all available at all times. If using fewer nuts and seeds, just make sure to stick to the total amount of nuts and seeds used in the recipe.
This is an extremely nutrient-dense food that will leave you satisfied for a long while. If combining it with fruit yogurt, I recommend a quarter cup. By itself (or topped with some milk, dairy or otherwise), a half cup is definitely a good amount. This is not air-filled crisp-rice cereal that has you white-knuckling it until lunch time.
One last note: Texture-wise, this recipe reminds me more of a muesli-granola hybrid than a traditional granola.
YIELDS: Approximately 6 cups (24 quarter-cup servings; 12 half-cup servings)
2.5 cups oats (quick-cooking oats are fine)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup cacao powder/unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup goji berries
5 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup agave (or honey or maple syrup)
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract (if using vanilla powder, add it to dry ingredients)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add all dry ingredients in one large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.
Once mixed, add wet ingredients to “dry ingredient” bowl.
Stir well. Place mixture on large baking sheet. Spread and flatten out using wooden spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes.
Once done, remove from oven. Add goji berries and raisins. Allow to cool and store in containers.
NUTRITION FACTS (for 1/2 cup serving)
7 grams saturated fat (see note)
100 mg sodium
7.5 grams fiber
4 grams added sugar
8.5 grams protein
Excellent Source of: Iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, thiamin, vitamin E, zinc
Good source of: Folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C
NOTE: The majority of the saturated fat content in this recipe is from coconut. Unlike other saturated fats, coconut’s fatty acid profile increases HDL cholesterol. Coconut oil is a much healthier alternative than vegetable oils loaded with omega-6 fatty acids.