Nourishing Granola for the Lazy Chef
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I see you. You want to eat healthier, but it's hard to start. The grocery store is intimidating. You see articles and Instagram posts making it look easy. But it's hard.
It's okay. I'm here for you. I've been there.
Quick story: I started truly caring about my health when I was about fifteen years old. At fourteen, I got diagnosed with Graves disease. Basically, my thyroid was a mess. I was tiny and I ate whatever I wanted. But with my new diagnosis came medicine, and with that medicine I gained twenty pounds and started losing my hair. Combine that with the fun that puberty brings, and I became pretty self-conscious and just plain confused. What happened to that girl I knew a year ago that was barely 90 pounds? She had been replaced. So I nosedived into health books. I couldn't even drive yet, so I had my parents drop me off at our local Barnes & Noble, and I read. I read every book I could possibly get my hands on that had to do with diet, nutrition, and what it means for food to become medicine.
Fast forward to now, I am 23 years old. I live in Europe. And I have a good understanding of how food affects my body. I want to go back to school to study dietetics when I return to the U.S. in a few years. My passion lies in helping people navigate the often confusing road of nutrition.
I am really against dieting, starving yourself, and staying away from fat. I am ALL ABOUT eating foods from the earth. I don't like unnecessary, added white sugar. I don't drink milk (but I love cheese, sue me). And overall, I am all about eating intuitively, because alas, your body knows you best.
So, let's talk breakfast. To be honest, I am a savory breakfast eater. I love toast smeared with organic full fat cream cheese topped with avocado. Or a fried egg in grass fed butter with spinach and mushrooms. I am also aware of the other type of humans, the ones that like sweet foods at breakfast. My boyfriend being one of those people. He normally takes his breakfast to-go and packs granola, fruit, and almond milk. Definitely a perfect balance of fiber, healthy fats, filling carbs, and plant-based protein - however, I decided it was time to take his breakfast to the next level. And as an added bonus, we could save some money at the same time.
Homemade granola, anyone?
Here's what you need:
2.5 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of coconut (shredded, chips, any variety works)
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (or any nut of choice, next time I make this I'm going to try pecans)
4 tablespoons of chia seeds (would also add hemp seeds if I had some on hand)
1/2 tablespoon of ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (feel free to use honey if you prefer)
1/2 cup of ghee (I like this brand, but Trader Joe's has a good cheaper version here)
A pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
Melt the maple syrup and ghee together on the stove. While melting, combine dry ingredients together and then slowly pour in liquid and combine all ingredients. Evenly spread on a cookie sheet. Bake 7 minutes in a 350 degree heated oven. After the first 7 minutes, mix the granola around (feel free to grab a bite while you're at it; warm granola is a game changer) and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Make sure to check on it often because all ovens are different and granola does burn easily (trust me on this). Let it cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Pair with fresh fruit, nut milk, nut butter, yogurt, or anything you're feeling. Variety is the spice of life. My personal favorite combination is coconut yogurt, this granola, and fresh, juicy mango.
This recipe is so nourishing and healthy. The healthy fat from the ghee, the crazy amount of antioxidants from the ceylon cinnamon, the fiber from the chia seeds and oats, and the protein from the nuts. The best part of making your food at home is that you have full control of how much of anything you decide to add. You don't have to put in 1/2 cup of maple syrup if you're really trying to cut back on sugar (which everyone should be doing, Americans eat WAY too much sugar). Whatever the case, just know that you've made this with your own hands, using ingredients that are good for your body, and that is a beautiful thing in itself.
If you make this granola, make sure to tag me in your food pictures on Instagram (@hungrysouthernyogi) and let me know what you think in the comments. Happy baking!