This break from the Color Matters series is brought to you by
Anne Smith, MS, my Cancer Dietitian Dietetic Intern and the Iowa State University Dietetic Internship. 🙂
Whole grains are part of a balanced diet and are full of fiber, B vitamins, and phytochemicals. These are all essential nutrients that aid in keeping your cells healthy to fight cancer and other diseases. These nutrients are also often found in nuts and seeds which are plant based proteins that keep you feeling fuller longer as well as improve digestive health and speed up healing.
Granola is an excellent source of all of the protective foods. However, it can be expensive to buy so sometimes it’s best to make your own. By making your own granola, you can customize it to your preferred tastes but still get plenty of nutrients you need to stay healthy.
The following granola recipe was created by Anne Smith, my dietetic intern for the past 2 weeks. She is currently residing with her mother and father-in-law in Mocksville who became her guinea pigs, helping her create a recipe that is both nutritious and cost effective. This recipe can be made ahead of time and eaten as a quick snack, added to yogurt for a filling treat, or combined with milk for a tasty breakfast.
Cinnamon Coconut Granola Recipe:
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup coconut, unsweetened
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts, excluding the dried fruit or candy.
- In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all of the dry ingredients are coated. The color of the oats will get darker.
- Pour mixture out onto the baking sheet into a thin layer. Bake for 10 min at 325 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and stir.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 min, watch carefully to ensure granola doesn't burn. Remove from the oven and add dried fruit if you desire.
- Allow the granola to cook for a few minutes then transfer it to a large mixing bowl. At this point add any optional dried fruit.
- While the granola is cooling, use the spatula to mash some of it together to make clusters. Allow the granola to cool completely before eating. Makes approximately 4 cups of granola.
Customizing this recipe to your preferences is easy.
A few add-in ideas for your granola are:
- ½ cup dried fruit like blueberries, cranberries, or banana chips. Berries are full of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals; 1/2 cup of dried fruit is counted as 1 serving of fruit.
- Various nuts;
pistachios, almonds, and cashews (believe it or not!) are lower in
saturated fat than many other nuts. All you need is ½ ounce of nuts to
count it as a serving of protein- that equates to 12 almonds, 24
pistachios, or 8 cashews.
A balanced diet is always recommended, following the “My Plate” Food Guide outlined by the USDA is a great place to start. In just ½ cup of this granola, you can get 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of dietary fiber.