Omega Maple Granola (OMG!)
(printable recipe link below)
You'll wonder why you ever bought supermarket granola after you've tried this recipe. While the total sugar is similar to store bought varieties, unlike store bought versions, there is no refined sugar. Maple syrup not only gives the sumptuous caramel flavour, but is also high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. The dried fruits also add sugar to this recipe, but I really enjoy a fruity granola. I prefer organic dried apricots which haven't had sulphur used as a preservative. It's the sulphur which keeps apricots vibrant orange. With no sulphur, organic apricots turn brown, but the flavour is rich and full. If you have diabetes or just want to lower your overall sugars, you can reduce the dried fruit or omit it altogether. Don't feel restricted to these ingredients either. Try almonds, pistachios or peanuts which are all great protein sources. Just make sure you select unsalted.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are needed for a myriad of functions including but not limited to cognitive support, cell structure and function, visual acuity, prevention and treatment of heart disease. Omega 6 fats protect the heart by lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and improving insulin resistance. There are plenty of sources of these wonderful fatty acids in this recipe - olive oil, walnuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), flaxseeds (sometimes called linseeds) and the LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond) meal. If you can't find LSA, then just add some extra sunflowers & flaxseeds.
This recipe yields around 20 servings. You only need a small serve of this as it's actually quite filling. The granola is packed with fibre from oats, nuts and seeds and the fats will lower the glycemic response helping you feel fuller for longer.
If you want to make this one school lunchbox friendly (i.e. nut free), remove the walnuts and LSA and add extra pepitas and perhaps some sunflower seeds. Well what are you waiting for? Crank up the oven, get the bowls out and get some granola into you!
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins
Preheat oven to 180 celcius
Mix all ingredients - except the dried fruits - in a large bowl - ensuring all the grains of oats are covered by the extra virgin olive oil and syrup. I like my dried fruits to go caramelised in the oven, so I add mine to the mix beforehand. If you choose to do this, make sure you keep an eye on the granola, the fruits can go from yummy to burnt in a blink!
Spread out onto a large baking tray. You may need to divide it across two trays if needed (this recipe makes A LOT!). Don't worry if it's a thick layer as we mix it during cooking.
Bake in oven. After 10 mins, use a wooden spoon to mix up the granola to get some of the underneath ingredients to the top. This gets a more even toast. Return to oven for 10 more mins.
Allow to cool on trays completely before adding in dried fruit (if not already in) and store in an airtight container.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, fresh fruit and low fat milk, or have as a trail snack! Enjoy
Click here for a printable recipe