Good-for-you Granola. Try this energy-boosting cereal for breakfast.
I’veÂ been looking for a good excuse to stop buying the cold cereals that my kids and my husband love.Â The problem is they are just so convenient for quick breakfasts.Â ButÂ the more I study about food and nutrition, the more I realize what is “food” and what is “non-food”.Â Most of the cereal my husband buys and the kids like would be considered “non-food.”Â Â When they eat it they have experience a sugar crash and are hungry 30 minutes later.
The “good excuse” I’ve been looking for to get my husband on boardÂ has finally fallen into my lap.Â A few weeks ago my husband quit his job and started his own business with his best friend and we have been looking for ways to really cut down on any spending while he travels around and starts gathering in clients.Â Â He is now on board.Paychecks will probably not be coming in for a few months so we are trying to live off of what we have in our freezer and food storage. Â So to save money and eat healthier, I decided we need to eat granola for breakfast. Â I borrowed this recipe from my good friend Sunshine (who is a health nut) and I tweaked it a little.Â This new granola recipe is amazing!Â I’ve been eating it for breakfast, snacking on it during the day, andÂ I will eat a bowl of it with milk on nights when I am hungry before bed. Â My kids aren’t quite on board yet, but they will be once the Honey-nut Cheerios run out.Â They do like how it tastes.Â I took some of this granola to share with a neighbor and she loved it as much as I do.Â She called me the next day asking for the recipe and explained that her friends at work wanted the recipe as well. Â Â Enjoy!
Yield (20 cups) or 2 large zip top bags full
4 cups whole wheat flour (you can substitute 1 cup wheat germÂ for 1 cup of whole wheat flour to boost nutrition levels)
8 cups rolled oats or steel cut oats
2 cups of each of these (or use what you have in your cupboards): sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts,Â dried fruit, coconut,Â and cooked quinoa (optional).
3 tsp cinnamon
1 pinchÂ nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup olive oil
2 cups honey
1 cup ground flax and sesame seeds (reserve until granola has been baked, then sprinkle on top while cooling)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.Â Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper or wax paper sprayed with cooking spray.Â Spread granola evenly on the two baking pans and place in the oven.Â Set the timer for 15 minutes (halfway) and stir the granola.Â Then set the timer for another 15 minutes. Â When done, cool the granola and continue to stir until cooled.Â Sprinkle ground flax and sesame seed on top while it is cooling.* Â This way it will not turn into a brick of granola.Â When cooled, place granola in 2Â large zip top bags.Â Freeze one and refrigerate the other. Â Serve as a snack, as a topping on fruit yogurt or cobbler or eat with cold milk in a bowl.Â Yum!
Why Ground Flax and Sesame seed?
It’s recommended to consume ground flax seed and ground sesame seed because whole flax and sesame seeds just pass right through the body undigested.Â Â Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
What is wheat germ?
Wheat germ is the center and most nutritional part of the wheat kernel.Â It includes Vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorous, thiamin, zinc and magnesium.Â Dr. Oz states:
Wheat germ is the most vitamin- and mineral-rich part of the wheat kernel. In fact, the germ is actually the embryo of the wheat plant. This embryo will eventually nourish the new wheat plan. This is the reason why it has so many wonderful nutrients.
Unfortunately, this kernel, which includes the wheat germ, is tragically removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour. In the manufacturing process, it is removed because its healthy oils can go rancid quickly, so removing it makes it easier for food production companies to keep wheat in storage much longer. The germ itself only makes up about 3% of the kernel, and you need over 50 pounds of wheat to get one pound of wheat germ.
Why Is Wheat Germ So Good for You?
Because it is meant to feed the new plant, wheat germ is packed with good nutrients. Two tablespoons of raw wheat germ have about 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, no cholesterol and about 60 calories. This is plenty of protein and fiber.
Plus, it has a number of other healthy nutrients for your body:
Wheat germ is packed with important B vitamins, such as folate, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6. B vitamins are important for the heart, to make proper mood chemicals for our brain, and are critical for cardiovascular health.
Wheat germ contains lots of fiber, which is necessary for good blood sugar balance, cholesterol control, intestinal health and detoxification.
You can buy both the very slightly sweetened variety and the plain type by Kretschmer.Â It has a nutty crunchy flavor that most carb addicts like me can’t resist.Â Even though you said you don’t bake, here is the website for Kretschmer.Â It has lots of different ways to use wheat germ in it — http://www.kretschmer.com/.Â Here is another good website just talking about whatÂ wheat germ is and why its so good for you — http://www.flaxfood.com/wheatfood/wgerm.htm
Because I know my kids, hubby and I don’t always make the most healthy food choices, I started just adding it to everything.Â Now, some things CLEARLY tasted better without it, so I have pulled back on those things (fish for example).Â But I have convinced my kids that they are “pixi dust or fairy sprinklies” and we put it on cereal, yogurt, ice cream, green beans, you name it.Â I also sneak it in hamburgers, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce…..Â The possibilities are endless.
Wheat germ is found in the hot cereal isle at the supermarket, not on the baking isle.