Call me a control freak, but I prefer to cook most of my own foods so I know what’s really in them. I’ve found that specifically when it comes to breakfast cereals, many brands have sugars and other random shit that I’d rather not start my day with, not to mention a lack of actual nutrients. I won’t go on a rant about sugar, but suffice to say that it is what makes us fat (it’s not actually fat), and it’s what makes us feel like shit later in the day (when the sugar high wears off). It’s also “disguised” in SO MANY of the foods we eat under a total of 56 different names, and is highly addictive, like crack. Seriously, addictive like actual crack. And "food" companies know this and intentionally put it into their products so we get hooked and keep buying them.
Okay, maybe just a little rant.
Now of course there are some trustworthy brands and alternative options out there, but I’ve enjoyed making my own granola for about the last three years. I’ve tried a variety of ingredients and techniques, and found a combo that results in some pretty delicious granola full of good-for-you stuff. I cook a big batch every Monday, pour it into giant glass jars, and my sis and I nosh on it all week long. Here’s my current recipe, in case you want to give it a go yourself.
I’d like to note that there is in fact sugar in here [GASP]. It’s in the form of high-quality organic maple syrup (whatever you do, DO NOT put Aunt Jemima in this shit), which contains sugar but also some nutrients (where refined sugar has none). I’m not a 100% sugar-free person, but I do like to choose what form and how much goes into the foods I eat, and in this case, it’s a little lower on the glycemic index (which means it’s metabolized more slowly and thus won’t spike your blood sugar or insulin levels) and a very small amount.
This should make about 12 cups of granola - measurements are very loosely estimated :)
1 32-oz bag Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old fashioned rolled oats
2 small handfuls unsweetened coconut flakes
2 small handfuls raisins
1 pound mixed pecans and walnuts, chopped
a dash of turmeric
several generous dashes of cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt
a splash of maple syrup (like 1-2 tablespoons)
enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat all ingredients
Throw it all in a big bowl (or split evenly between two, as I do) and mix to coat all ingredients very lightly with the olive oil and syrup.
Spread ingredients onto several baking sheets in one shallow layer and bake in the oven at about 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown, and toss about halfway through. Let cool on the baking tray before transferring to a glass jar.
Pair with [unsweetened almond] milk, greek yogurt (again, look out for sugar here!) and berries, and/or a spoonful of peanut butter (do I have to say it? most companies put sugar in their peanut butter. I go for the fresh ground stuff from Whole Foods, or Smucker's natural, which surprisingly doesn't have sugar) for a delicious healthy breakfast (or snack)!