Homemade granola with chocolate and dried berries
You might know granola as one of the most popular healthy breakfast out there. We include it in weight loss diets, we give it to our children, some people consume it on a daily basis. But did you know that there is quite a debate whether it’s actually healthy or not?
As I was searching for its benefits, I stumbled upon a lot of websites that cautioned against consuming store-bought granola.
That made me curious and therefore, I decided to dig a little further to see whether it’s actually healthy or not!?
In this article I will answer this question, point out the benefits and show you how to make a healthy homemade granola.
But if you want to start cooking right away, and you’re not interested in the debate, skip to the end of the post to see the recipe, instructions and video.
So is granola healthy?
To find an answer for this question, I browsed through a number of articles. I found one of them particularly useful and I will summarize it bellow.
Granola’s primary ingredient is oats. This is rich in fiber, in vitamins like iron and magnesium and it’s low-calorie. Oats is also used in different weight-loss diets. Once ingested, it acts like a sponge absorbing toxins and un-healthy fats. Then there are nuts and seeds which contain unsaturated fats, protein and Omega-3.
Nothing unhealthy about that, right?
But most of store-bought granolas also contain sugar under different forms. Even though it says no added sugar on the package, they managed to find ways to make it sound healthy. When you look at the nutrition facts and see brown rice syrup, can you imagine that this is a source of sugar? I know I can’t.
And there’s a few more confusing terms like evaporated cane juice or molasses. Furthermore, they make it with different kinds of high-calorie oils and other processed ingredients.
Hmm, should we rule out our favorite breakfast from now on? I mean, just look at it …
Absolutely not! The way I see it, we’ve got two options: We either learn the terms and scan thoroughly the nutrition labels before buying (the hard way), or we can simply make it ourselves and gain control on the ingredients (the easy way). This way we can be sure that there’s no sugar or high-calorie oil added. It’s worth mentioning that if you follow the recipe below it will also be gluten-free.
But granola is more than just a delicious breakfast. Take a look at the benefits below and see why we shouldn’t rule it out.
Benefits of Granola
According to Organic Facts, it is unmatched in:
• Digestive Aid. It’s rich in fiber, so it regulates digestion better that anything else.
• Weight Loss. Low in cholesterol and sodium, which helps reducing obesity
• Reducing harmful cholesterol
• Boosts Energy
• Prevents cancer
• Prevents anemia
• Cognitive activity
• Vitamin-E content (preventing the skin from premature aging)
• Manganese Content. It’s high in manganese content which is an excellent regulator for blood sugar.
So what do you think about that? Quite an impressive list of benefits, right?
Now, I hope I’ve convinced you to take the easy way (also the healthy way) and make your own granola.
Now it’s time to show tou my Chocolate granola with nuts and dried berries.
I know, you’re probably going to say: Wait, Chocolate? Didn’t you say there’s no sugar in it?’
Not if you use sugar-free chocolate. It’s not the best sweetener, but it sure adds a lot of taste. And you can always pour a bit of honey if you have a sweet tooth.
I also used coconut oil which adds a lot of nutrients and it’s a great energy booster.
If you know other homemade granola recipes, I really want to hear them (always in search for good recipes 🙂 ). Just drop it in the comments.
1. Make a large batch. You can store granola for at least 4 weeks in plastic or glass jars. So basically you’ll end up spending about 40 minutes to make a month’s breakfast.
2. Try it with your favourite healthy yoghurt, milk and/or fruits.
Chocolate granola with dried berries Recipe
250g rolled oats (use the gluten-free version)
125g dark chocolate chips (I used mixed dark, white and milky)
100g dried berries and cherries
75g raw hazelnuts
75g pecan nuts
100g flaked almonds
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1/3 cup Coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
In a large mixing bowl combine oats, chocolate, dried fruits and all nuts. Stir in coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix well to get all combined and coated.
Spread the mixture onto a sheet baking tray
Bake for about 30 minutes, making sure you check half time to stir the mixture around so it bakes evenly.
Once the granola is ready, let it cool down for about 30 minutes, so it can get chunky and crispy.
Transfer it into an air-tight container or a large jar and keep it in the pantry for about 2-3 weeks.
Enjoy with yoghurt, milk, fruits or on it's own.