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Granola Your Way

Good Monday morning to you all! It’s Zoe, the Nutrition Consultant at Elevate Sports Performance and Chiropractic. I’ve had several requests for my granola recipe, so I thought I’d post it on our Monday recipe share!

Granola Your Way

Granola. 
Just saying it makes you think of all things healthy and natural doesn’t it? The original hippie food! It must be good for you, because it’s loaded with good for you oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Some brands ARE good for you, but many of them are also loaded with added fats, added sugars, and preservatives. 
The nuts in granola provide more than enough of the good heart and brain healthy fats that our body needs, so why add more? The dried fruits provide more than enough natural sugar, so why add more? 
When we see a box of granola in the store, it has a “halo effect” where we automatically equate it with a food that is good for you. It’s important to read the nutrition and ingredients label on the back of the box instead of just looking at the front of the box. 
Or, just make your own!! Here’s my recipe, and I encourage you to change it up by adding your favorite nuts, seeds, spices and dried fruits. 
I’d love to know how it turns out!!
Happy healthy granola-ing!
Zoe

Start by pre-heating the oven to 225 degrees.
In a blender or food processor, blend 16 pitted dates (I always add a couple of extra!) and water. Blend to the consistency of baby food or slightly waterier. 
Optional – add 2 tsp vanilla when blending to tweak the flavor a bit! 
Set aside.

Mix all of the following in a large bowl:
2 Cups thick old fashioned oats
¼ C ground flax
¼ C wheat germ
1 C raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 
1 C raisins or cranberries (Using both raisins and cranberries is sweeter than I like, so I either either/or.)
2 C (total) your choice of chopped raw nuts such as walnuts, cashews, pecans, sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened, unsulphered flaked coconut

Add spices* based on personal preference. 
*No two batches of my granola ever taste the same (But they’re always good!!) 
Experiment with combinations of cinnamon, nutmeg, dried ginger flakes or any other of your favorite spices.

Pour the blended dates and water mixture into the bowl of dried oats, nuts and seeds mixture.
Mix well, being sure to get the date and water mixture completely mixed in.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour a single layer of the mixture onto the paper. (I use 2 baking sheets and alternate them on the oven racks.) Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven and let cool until you can mix it up, breaking up any large chunks. Place back in the oven for about 10 minutes more, checking on it frequently. The baking time will vary based on your ingredients. When you put the granola back in the 2nd time, be sure to keep a close eye on it. It will brown (burn!) fast! (No, I didn’t set off the smoke alarm this time!)
It’s yummy as a snack by itself, or with unsweetened almond milk, added to fat-free Greek yogurt, or on ice cream!! 
Enjoy!!