When I was younger, before nutrition became a massive influence on my lifestyle I lived on cereals. They were my favorite meal of the day, to the point that if I didn't feel like cooking they would even become my dinner (I am going red with embarrassment as I write this!). They formed such a big part of my life, that I would mix about five types together including: coco pops, cornflakes, Weetabix, sugar puffs etc.
Then I decided to study nutrition, and guess what, these cereals then became banned from my house, as they provide us with no nutrition at all, plus are not filling and also can cause damage to our intestines.
Breakfast is still my favorite meal of the day. It tends to be my biggest meal and once cereals were ditched I struggled to find a replacement that I loved just as much. Then came Granola trials!!! I am not the greatest at inventing my own recipes. I think I need to do a few courses. However, after playing around with a few recipes, I have formed a granola recipe that I am proud of and happy to share with you :)
Let's look at a few of the beneficial ingredients within this recipe:
Oats: These are in fact gluten-free, however the reason you can buy gluten-free oats, is because others are milled in the same place as gluten grains and can therefore, become contaminated. If you were on a strict gluten free diet, I would recommend you buy the gluten-free ones. During the milling process oats do not have their bran and germ stripped from them so they have a good concentration of both fibre and nutrients (1). Oats have good sources of the minerals: manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. They also have a good source of the vitamin B1. The good news is these vitamins and minerals are really important in the process in which our body turns food into energy. The fibre content in oats has also shown to lower cholesterol as it binds to bile acids as helps to remove them from the body. The fibre content also means that they are digested slowly and can therefore, have a positive affect on stabilisng blood sugar levels.
Buckwheat: Most people think of buckwheat as a cereal grain, however, it is not. It is actually a fruit seed and therefore, a gluten-free product. Buckwheat contains one of my favorite nutrients Quercetin. It is a flavonoid that has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition buckwheat is great for vegetarians and vegans as it has a high quality protein count and contains all eight essential amino acids (1).
Honey: Although honey is a sugar, it is natural and contains a lot of goodness. It has a high source of riboflavin and B6, which are used by the body to make energy. It also provides us with iron and manganese. Raw honey, which I suggest in this recipe, is much better for our health, as it has not been pasteurised, clarified or filtered and so retains many more nutrients than one that has been processed. Honey provides us with antioxidants, provides us with energy and energy support, has shown to help with wound healing and has numerous cancer preventing properties (1).
There are also many health benefits in the other ingredients, but thought I would share a few in more detail.
So you can see why, this breakfast became more appealing than coco pops!!!
- 250g oats
- 150g Buckwheat Flakes (Waitrose sell them)
- 1/2-cup organic apple juice
- 3tbsp coconut oil melted
- 300g raw honey
- 1/4-cup almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 80g gogi berries.
- Place all ingredients into a bowel apart from the gogi berries and stir thoroughly.
- Turn the oven onto 170-degrees and allow it to get to the full temperature.
- Place the ingredients onto a large tray so that they are as flat as possible.
- Then put into the oven and cook for around 20-30 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it, stirring regularly so that it doesn't burn.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and then add the berries and store in an airtight container.