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Cinnamon-Molasses Nut Granola

Cinnamon-Molasses Nut Granola

Store-bought granola is a lot like store-bought sweetened yogurt: It masquerades (and is advertised loudly) as a health food, but it isn’t. Almost all of it is loaded with sugar and fat. That’s a shame, because granola is naturally packed with nutrients and intensely satisfying. It really doesn’t need cups of sugar and oil to make it great!

As usual, making something at home is the best way to know what is going into your body. Our version is granola as it was meant to be: a healthy and great-tasting snack or light meal that isn’t loaded with sugar, fat, or unhealthy canola/soybean oils.

Granola with blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, and nuts and seeds

This granola’s real power is in its micronutrient and antioxidant content. We included a powerful heart-protective combination of walnuts, almonds and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). These nuts have been proven to lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers. In fact, one incredible quote from Dr. Michael Greger (author of NYT Best-Seller How Not to Die) is that just “half a walnut a day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in about half.” You can read the full article here.

Oats are a well-established high-fiber, nutrient-dense source of energy. They contain both starch and fiber, making them complex carbohydrates that break down more slowly and provide your body and brain with a rich, steady source of fuel. They also contain beneficial B vitamins and phyto (plant) chemicals.

Ingredients for our cinnamon-molasses granola

We use only a minimal amount of sweetener in this granola, so it will only taste lightly sweet. One reason for this is because of our tendency to add this granola to already-sweet items like fruit or ice cream. Our primary source of sweetener is blackstrap molasses. This type of sugar contains all of nature’s natural minerals and also makes the granola a beautiful chocolate color. Below is another brand of blackstrap that we really like – and available at Target.

Blackstrap molasses

To balance all that mineral-heavy, earthy flavor in the blackstrap, we also use a small amount of maple syrup (a more refined version of blackstrap molasses) and some raw turbinado sugar (2 tablespoons for the entire recipe!)

As for oil, we halved what we saw in other recipes – only a quarter cup – and it’s not missed at all. We also swapped out popular coconut oil (mostly saturated and more difficult to work with) for avocado oil, which has an even higher monounsaturated fat  content than olive oil and, conveniently, does not make your granola taste like avocado. 🙂

Cinnamon-Molasses Granola used in our Yogurt & Berry Sundae

At roughly 150 calories per quarter-cup or 35 per tablespoon, this granola is an excellent accompaniment to both yogurt and ice cream-based sundaes. In fact, check out our recipe for Yogurt, Granola and Berry Compote Sundaes as shown above! It uses both the Granola, and the Berry Compote recipes available here at Dinner In Provence, along with some Nancy’s Probiotic Greek Yogurt (another favorite of ours: Siggi’s Whole Milk Plain Yogurt).

Skip the store-bought granola and start incorporating it in your meal prep. You only need to make a batch every month or so. Eat this granola by itself for a healthy snack, or sprinkle it over any sort of yogurt or ice cream.

Yield is approx 5 cups, one serving for Nutrition Info purposes = 1/4 cup but if I am sprinkling over something and not eating by itself, I typically use about half that (2 Tablespoons).



Cinnamon-Molasses Nut Granola

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, preferably organic

1/2 cup english walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1T ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg, optional

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup (4T) organic blackstrap molasses

2T raw turbinado sugar

2T real maple syrup (if you don’t have real maple syrup, use honey over the fake maple syrup)

Instructions

1

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 275 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg if using.

3

In a small bowl, stir together the avocado oil, molasses, maple syrup, and sugar. Whisk well to combine thoroughly.

4

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl. Use a spatula to ensure you get any non-dissolved granulated sugar into the mixture. Stir well to coat the dry ingredients thoroughly with the oil-molasses mixture.

5

Spread into a thick, even layer on the parchment-rimmed baking sheet. It should all fit onto one large sheet, but use two smaller if needed.

6

Bake for 15 minutes and then stir. Bake another 15 minutes and stir again. Bake a final 10-15 minutes or until the granola is very fragrant and slightly darkened into a deep chocolate color. (Granola will still be moist.)

7

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Granola will harden and become crunchy as it cools.

8

Store in a large mason jar with a tight lid. It will keep for 4-5 weeks, if you don’t eat it all before then. 🙂

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories
150

Protein
3.6g

Carbs
15g

Fiber
2.2g

Sugar
4.7g

Fat
8.6g

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Dinner In Provence
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