By Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
Granola is a wholesome breakfast cereal that seems to become more popular every year. In fact, there are dozens of granola cereals on the market to choose from. But what you might not realize is that it’s so simple to make yourself. You’ll love this this Easy Granola is truly easy to fix with just five ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep time!
To make this granola, you’ll just need old-fashioned oats, slivered almonds, shelled sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and maple syrup. The oats count as a whole grain and offer heart-friendly fiber. The almonds provide 6 grams of plant protein per ounce, plus they’re a top food source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
When shopping for the ingredients, buy wisely. You can choose salted or unsalted sunflower seeds; the salt actually helps to punch up and balance the sweet taste of the granola. Also, to can get the most nutritional value, be sure to use pure maple syrup and not a maple-flavored corn syrup or pancake syrup that may contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Pure maple syrup is actually an excellent source of manganese, which is a mineral that can help promote bone and skin health. Not a fan of maple syrup? No problem. Try coconut nectar instead; it’s the sweet sap of the coconut tree—and it doesn’t contribute to a spike in blood sugar!
When baking your granola, know that it won’t get fully crisp in the oven. You’ll overcook the granola if you aim for crispness in the oven. So, look for a rich golden-brown color and a hint of slight crispness, then transfer the tray of granola to a cooling rack. It’ll be fully crisp once it cools.
Enjoy Easy Granola just like any cereal. Stir in some dried fruit, if you like. Either way, it’s a compact portion, so you won’t need as big of bowl as you use for puffed or flaked cereals. But
do think beyond the bowl. One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy granola is along with seasonal fruit and Greek yogurt. And don’t just eat it at breakfast time; it’s an anytime food.
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a classically-trained chef, registered dietitian nutritionist, award-winning cookbook author, and media personality. She is author of several cookbooks, including The All‐Natural Diabetes Cookbook, The With or Without Meat Cookbook, and Big Green Cookbook. She’s a healthy cooking instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and a contributing recipe developer and food writer for Livestrong.com. She’s made professional guest appearances on dozens of television news shows, including Good Morning America. Visit her website jackienewgent.com or follow her on Instagram: @jackienewgent.