Why do nuts get such a bad rap in the media. All we hear is they are fattening, and fat is bad. So what do people do? They won’t touch those nasty fattening nuts, but they will go through the drive thru at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s or any other fattening fast food joint you can name. We all need some fat in our diets. It is what keeps you feeling satisfied, and keeps your insulin levels from spiking and plummeting. So what does society do? They give up healthy nuts and opt for fast food that satisfies them at that moment and an hour later they are looking for something else. It is a vicious cycle, and as the appetite for greasy foods grows so does the waistline.
Let’s break that cycle and bring some healthy fat into our diets. I have a homemade Almond Granola recipe that you can eat plain, add to your yogurt or pour a little milk over and have your own cereal.
The base of the granola is made up of oats and nuts.
4 Cups Old Fashion Whole Oats
2 Cups Chopped Almonds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and toast oats on cookie sheet for 6 minutes and almonds on another cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be a little brown, but not burnt. Remove from oven and place in metal mixing bowl. At this point, turn oven temperature back to 325 degrees.
While they are toasting whisk the following ingredients in a bowl.
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract, (I make my own with Vanilla Beans and Vodka)
1/2 Cup Oil, (I use Coconut Oil)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups of Dried Fruit, (not pictured – my family doesn’t like dried fruit)
Pour the liquid mixture over the warm oats and almonds and stir until thoroughly combined. Take a parchment lined cookie sheet and press the mixture onto the parchment paper.
Place in the 325 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. (It takes 40 minutes in my oven.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 10 minutes.
Once the granola is cool, break into pieces and store in an air tight container or ziplock bags. This is where you would add the dried fruit.