Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good Gut Granola

Summer vacations are long over, school is in full swing, and it's back to rushing out the door first thing in the morning. 

What about breakfast? Still reaching for those packaged cereals filled with additives or tons of sugar? Most of those store-bought granolas - and even some of the home made ones - are heavy on the sugar content, reducing any benefits you might have imagined you were getting.

Not this recipe, which contains a lot of dietary fiber but eliminates most of the sugar.   

It's from a book called "The Good Gut," focusing on recipes that restore microbes called "microbiota" to our bodies -- microbiota that are diminishing because of the proliferation of antibiotic overuse, changes in diet and over sterilization, according to the authors, microbiologists Justin and Erica Sonnenberg.

This recipe uses just a bit of maple syrup as sweetener, plus some pumpkin puree - easy enough to find in these fall months.

You can add your own mix of grains - or buy something like this combination of hot rolled cereal from Bob's Red Mill --

Bake it in the oven, then mix in the raisins after it cools.

My favorite way to enjoy it is over some Greek Yogurt and stewed plums (cut up half a dozen plums and simmer for about five minutes in a few tablespoons of water, a couple of tablespoons of sugar and dash of cinnamon, until the plums break down).

It's a delicious, nutritious and quick way to start the day.

Bacteria Boosting Granola

from the book "The Good Gut"

printable recipe here

4 cups mixed rolled cereal grain (or 1 cup each of flakes from oats, barley, rye and quinoa; substitute as desired; Bob's Red Mill brand has a five-grain rolled cereal that works well.

1 cup unsweetened dried flake coconut

1 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3 T. olive oil

1/2 cup water

2 T. maple syrup

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the rolled cereal, coconut, almonds, and pipettes. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, olive oil, water, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the cereal mixture and stir to coat. Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Add the raisins to the cooked granola. When cooled, store the granola in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keeps well for about a month. Serve over yogurt or seasonal fresh fruit.

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