Archives for posts with tag: oats

Healthy Maple Granola

Written by Dr. Scarlett Cooper, ND (www.drscarlettcooper.com)

As a guest writer on the blog of Dinutrition, I’m happy to share with you today my favourite homemade granola recipe. There are two parts to the reason I love this particular granola and what makes it so unique.  While I was a student at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, my roommate and I created this recipe, and it made for a memorable study break.  We were inspired by the Paleo diet, as we found ‘Paleo-nola’ recipes to be a little too rich for our tastebuds and yet we wanted to create a recipe that was lighter in grains, sugar, and oil than most store-bought granolas.

Staying true to the philosophy of naturopathic medicine, we aimed for balance in our recipe.  Rather than using rolled oats as the primary ingredient, or eliminating grains completely, we complemented them with a wide variety of nuts, seeds, spices, and the natural sweetness of real maple syrup (honey is a great alternative!).

We also used almond cashew butter along with coconut oil and a generous amount of pure vanilla extract to mix with the dry ingredients.  Cashews have a buttery, somewhat sweet flavour, and while using plain almond butter is a fine substitute, the flavour won’t be quite the same.  I recommend trying ‘Nuts to You’ almond cashew butter!

Since this recipe uses a higher proportion of nuts & seeds to grains, it is richer in fat than most granolas, making it more filling and satisfying.  Nuts especially are known for their heart-healthy fats and protective effects against cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering the risk of weight gain and development of gallstones.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  To good health and good eats!

Healthy Maple Granola

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 3/8 cup almond cashew butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients except cranberries in a large mixing bowl.  Melt coconut oil over low heat in a small pot and mix in rest of wet ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Spread on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300-325 F (depending how hot your oven is) for 15 minutes; remove and stir, then bake at 250 F another 10-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  If adding cranberries, add them in toward the end and allow to bake for only 5 minutes.

Sprinkle generously on a bowl of fresh fruit and serve with almond milk or yogurt.  Store leftovers in an airtight glass jar and enjoy as a snack anytime!

Dr. Scarlett Cooper is a licensed naturopathic doctor and trained nutritionist in the province of British Columbia.  She works with patients to build a foundation for health, complementing dietary and lifestyle approaches with additional naturopathic treatments, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and supplements. Dr. Scarlett enjoys working with all patients interested in improving their health; she has a general family practice with particular interest in pediatrics, digestive and skin conditions, stress management, and mood disorders. Dr. Scarlett sees patients at Fourth & Alma Naturopathic Medical Centre in Vancouver, BC.  Please call 604.222.2433 or email info@naturopathicdocs.com to make an appointment today!  For more information, visit www.drscarlettcooper.com.

I modified this recipe from a post on Cate Writes Again (a great fitness blog). If you are feeling creative, make your own version by adding different combinations of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit.

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)

1 cup whole wheat flour (or a gluten-free flour)

1/2 cup flax seeds (ground or whole)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup raisins

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

1 egg beaten

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (170ºC) and lightly grease a 9X13 ” baking ban (or line it with parchment paper). In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, seeds, chocolate, raisins, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, combine the honey, egg, canola oil, apple sauce and vanilla.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Press evenly into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes (the edges will be golden brown). Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Nutrition (per bar, if cut into 18 bars):

  • Calories: 179
  • Carbs: 26 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Fat: 7.8 g
  • Fibre: 2.7 g

I discovered this recipe years ago and it is unlike any granola I have tasted. It has a mild sweetness and the citrus flavour pairs nicely with yogurt. Make the recipe your own by adding your favourite seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

juice and rind of one orange

juice and rind of one lemon

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). In a large bowl mix the oats, nuts, seeds and cinnamon. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the honey with the brown sugar. When melted, stir in the juice and rind. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased large roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container. Makes 6 cups.

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup serving):

  • Calories: 136
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Fat: 5.4 g
  • Fibre: 2.6 g

These cookies are high in fibre and are a source of protein, so you can feel a little less guilty about eating them.  For a gluten-free version, replace the oats with extra quinoa or another grain of your choice. (This recipe was adapted from: http://kazualkreative.com/).

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa (2/3 cups dry cooked with 1 1/3 cups water–for instructions, click here)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cups natural, salted peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325˚F (170˚C). Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (I find it works best to mix all ingredients but the chocolate together while the quinoa is still warm). Form into cookies, flatten, and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (or until golden brown). Makes 24 cookies. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition (per 1 cookie):

  • Calories: 103
  • Carbs: 10 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Fibre: 1.5 g

This is a breakfast staple at my parents’ house, served with fresh fruit and maple syrup. This simple recipe is delicious, low in fat, high in fibre, and can be gluten and dairy-free (if made with gluten-free oats and a dairy alternative such as soy milk). They can last up to 4 days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer — simply reheat them in the toaster. 

Ingredients:

2 cups oats (quick or rolled)

2 cups milk (any type)

1 small banana

dash of salt

optional: 2 tbsp flax seeds or ground nuts

Directions:

Preheat a waffle iron. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Let stand 3 minutes to thicken. Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your waffle iron. (note: you will need to spray or brush the iron with oil, if it is not non-stick). The waffles will be done when they stop steaming. Serves 4 (about 8 square-shaped waffles).

Nutrition info (per serving–2 waffles, made with skim milk and without flax or nuts): 

  • Calories: 307
  • Carbs: 50.7 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Fibre: 5.7 g