Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MIX IT UP! - Granola

About one month ago, I endeavored to make granola on my own. My family loves granola so much that sometimes I wonder how many boxes we go through in a week...

The two basic ingredients of this cereal -- oats and honey -- have medicinal properties. Because oats are high in fiber, you do not need a large serving to feel satisfied and stay full. Also, the fiber keeps the walls of your intestine squeaky clean, allowing your body to absorb the antioxidants (oat-unique avenanthramides) contained in this awesome grain. In order to receive these benefits in their fullness, the grain should be cooked thoroughly for prime digestion.

Accompanying this immune-booster is honey. A natural sweetener, honey is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and moisturizing. It generally has a glycemic index of fifty-five (55), and is even better when raw and largely unprocessed. 
My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
~ Proverbs 24:13~

However, it is important to note that honey contains certain bacteria which can cause botulism. These are not fully removed even in highly processed honey; but it is not toxic to us in small amounts, nor does eating it result in botulism most of the time because our bodies become immune to it. Infants (typically those under the age of twelve months) are susceptible to botulism from honey, and therefore need to wait until their system develops properly before consuming it (again, around the age of twelve months).
Have you found honey?
Eat only as much as you need,
Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
~ Proverbs 25:16~

For those who do not particularly enjoy a steaming bowl of hot oatmeal (as I), granola is your next stop. Use it for cereal, parfaits, apple crumbles, yogurts, or snacks. If you are not a cereal fan period (me again), try it with smoothie! I mixed up a smoothie with banana, pineapple, strawberries, and soy milk and put my granola into it, just as you would regular milk. My mom had it, too; and we both loved it! Definitely something to try.

The following recipe has some options for you to mix it up and develop a unique and delicious granola. The first option given in the one in the picture below (that is, oats; pumpkin seeds; and sesame seeds). Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 5 cups of flaked cereal (oats, barley, rye, kamut, etc.)
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds or hemp seeds
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
  • ¼ cup of oil (I used light olive oil)
  • ¼ cup of honey

Directions: 

Measure and mix up the first five ingredients. Then, add the oil and combine until all is coated. Add the honey; take time to stir and break up clusters of honey.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally if desired (the granola will brown and dry more easily). Let cool, and place in an air-tight container until ready to eat.


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