Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade Granola: A nutritious Breakfast and Snack خلطة الشوفان مع المكسرات والفواكه المجففة

My husbands goes to the gym everyday at 5:00 am (I just drag myself to the gym every other day out of sheer embarrassement). He usually eats breakfast at work. Don't get me wrong, they got a cafeteria that can easily compare to one of the best restaurants in town. I mean we have our lunch date at this cafeteria. He eats granola with yogurt, fruit and nuts everyday and he pays 4 dollars everyday for this super healthy breakfast. I challenged him that I can make him an equally delicious breakfast for a fraction of the price. Hence homemade granola.
Besides, I use organic homemade yogurt and organic fruits, organic Agave nectar (a natural sweetener that is diabetes friendly because it slowly elevates your blood sugar) and organic egg whites which brings this homemade granola to another level.
Alya, my daughter, and I love to munch on granola as a snack. Granola delivers my friends. We love our granola on the crunchy toasted side, so I keep it in the oven beyond the required time in the recipe. I also double the amount of nuts and seeds. This is my version of the Power Foods book recipe.

You can omit the nuts or the dried fruit, as desired. For a vegan option, simply omit the egg whites; the granola won’t be as crunchy but will still be delicious. Freeze granola in an airtight container for up to three months (it thaws quickly), or store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup chopped raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans
1/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large organic egg whites
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit cranberries, apricots, and dates.

Preheat oven to 350˚F
1. I like to buy whole nuts and fruits and chop them myself at the house. I also like to grind my own flaxseed بزر الكتان to ensure it retains all its benefit. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, pumpkin  and sunflower seeds, flaxseed, and cinnamon.

2. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites and salt until frothy. Add agave and oil, and whisk to combine. Stir into oat mixture until combined.

3. Spread mixture in even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

4. Bake 20 minutes; remove from oven, and use a spatula to gently flip the granola and move it from the outer edges to center (to brown evenly). Return to oven, and continue to cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes more, while moving the granola to ensure equal toasting. I like to broil it for a couple of minutes to give it a toasty nutty flavor and dark color but keep an eye on it as it can easily burn. Cool completely on sheets, then transfer to a bowl; stir in dried fruit.

You can substitute the agave for honey or molasses and use any combination you like of nuts and dried fruits.The American way of eating granola is adding it to yogurt, add some fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey or any other sweetener. My husband likes it the American way. If you know me, or read my post about homemade organic yogurt, you know by now that I can not (still) comprehend the use of yogurt in a sweet dish. It is savory all the way in the middle east, unless it is incorporates as an ingredient in a baked dish. I prefer my granola straight up, as is, as a snack.


Adapted from the book Power Foods by the editors of Whole Living magazine.
For my Homemade Organic Yogurt Recipe go here

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