It's not a simple yes or no. Granola can be incredibly healthy when loaded with nutrition-packed ingredients or it can be as unhealthy as a fast-food breakfast choice. The first thing to do is to become familiar with the ingredient list on today's brand-name granola. Be sure you are not just being served up a load of sugar and calories from oil and fats. All that sugar, corn syrup or other commercial sweetener is not a healthy choice, you want to try to stay away from unhealthy oils as well
Thankfully, granola does not have to be like this. You can make it yourself and with a few simple, healthy ingredients cut out all that unhealthy sugar and fat and make granola for what it really is; a healthy, nutritious breakfast choice that with one mouthful can give you all the protein, fiber and energy you need to start your day. A granola chock full of healthy oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit that gives your body what it needs on a daily basis. You can make your own low sugar granola and cut out all those unwanted calories and keep only the good stuff. It's those nuts and seeds that are high in protein, full of fiber and vitamin E. Just add in a few pumpkin seeds for the highest natural source of zinc there is. Stir in some flax seeds and you'll get all the important omega-3 fatty acids you need. Eliminate processed sugar and use a natural sweetener like honey; it has antioxidant properties as well as that sweet taste we all love, I do not think you can not get that from refined sugar. Mix in plenty of those fiber-rich oats and dried fruit and you have the alternative to today's very unhealthy breakfast choices. Your choice of ingredients is endless and you can tailor it to any diet or any lifestyle. You can make low sugar granola, low-fat granola, even sugar-free granola. Here is a quick recipe to get you started:
Skip the extra fat and calories you typically find and make your own healthy, homemade granola bar. It's quick, easy and a healthy granola bar recipe that will start you and your family off to a good day!
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds or almond slivers
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1/2 cup strained honey
1/4 packed cup of brown sugar
1-ounce unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup of dried fruit, chopped of your choice, such as blueberries or craisins
Directions: How to make Granola!
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sized sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the oats and other ingredients areasting, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook down until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. add the oat mixture to the hot liquid mixture, add in the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, even distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling completely. Cut into 3 inch squares and store in an airtight container until ateen!
You can substitute other nuts such as walnuts or pecans, or just add them in for extra flavor!
So, is granola a healthy choice? It can be if you choose carefully which brand you buy, but your better off making your own granola recipe. It is a more natural way to start your day and give you body what it needs most. What is granola ? Is it healthy or unhealthy? In it's best form it can be a great start for your busy day, but when loaded with sugar and fats it can do more harm than good.
Credits:John T. Hill