In case you missed the memo, let me just break the bad news to you now. Granola isn’t healthy. It’s kind of strange that we use the word granola as a way to describe healthy people, as in, “She’s a total granola cruncher.” But the fact of the matter is that most of it is loaded with sugar, fat and calories. In fact, one cup can contain upwards of 600 calories and 30 grams of fat. You might as well start your day with a milkshake.
Back when I owned and operated an espresso cart and catering company I made granola from scratch that I used in Greek yogurt parfaits. And let me tell you it was the furthest thing from healthy. I loaded it up with honey, brown sugar and butter. Man that stuff was delicious! But now that I understand, and CARE, more about nutrition I actually feel guilty that I served it to people.
So I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I’d like to make a healthy granola. I really like the crunch on top of yogurt and it’s been sorely missing from my meals. I finally got around to making some so that I could use it in some meals for one of my State of Slim clients. I’m definitely pleased with the results; the granola is hearty and crunchy but only very lightly sweetened. I use Walden Farms Pancake Syrup in this recipe because it’s calorie and sugar free. But if you don’t like artificial sweeteners you could definitely use something natural like agave, honey or maple syrup. Of course that adds sugar but definitely do what you’re most comfortable with.
The State of Slim program that I follow allows for almonds as a fat serving. To determine the amount of nuts to use in this recipe I weighed 16 almonds and multiplied that by four so that I know there is one fat serving included in each serving of granola. You’ll want to pay attention to how many nuts you get when you scoop it out, so that you don’t eat them all at once. If you rather save your fat servings for something else, just skip the nuts. On the SOS plan you could also use pistachios or walnuts in this recipe, just be sure to count or weigh the nuts so your portions are accurate.
Makes 4 servings, about a heaping 1/2 cup each
Counts as 1 Reignite Carb and 1 Fat on the State of Slim program
2 cups rolled oats (NOT quick or instant)
1/4 cup Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
3 Tb. egg whites
2.4 ounces raw almonds
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or substitute the same amount of extract)
pinch of cinnamon, more or less to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with a Silpat, foil or parchment paper and lightly coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients and toss together very well until everything is coated. Spread the granola out on the pan and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then stir up the granola so that it cooks evenly. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until toasted. The granola will be soft and chewy when warm, but will be crunchy when it cools. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.