The cereal aisle is a long one, full of contradictions. You’ll find cereals made with refined grains with nearly no fiber, and cereals that are pink and blue, with no artificial coloring added. There are cereals with so much sugar, I’m pretty sure Tony the Tiger and the Trix rabbit have diabetes by now.
My breakfast of champions consists of hot oatmeal with milk, sliced bananas, cinnamon and walnuts. And on those busy days when I have to rush out I like the standard cereal and cold milk, but it’s tricky finding a breakfast cereal that is healthy, low in sugar, has no saturated fat and trans fat — and still tastes great.
After doing some research and consulting with several dietitians, here is what I learnt:
- Read the label: the first ingredient on the list should be a whole grain, so literally look for the words “whole grain”
- Choose a cereal that is high in fiber, at least 10% fiber, or 3-6g of fiber per serving
- As a general rule, avoid cereals with over 9% fat (or over 2.7g of fat per serving) and over 27% sugar (or 10g per serving)
And then there is granola, which my absolute favorite, but the problem with store-bought granola is that it always seems to skimp on one ingredient or another — the one that happens to be your favorite, of course. Me being me, I took a shot at making my own and adjusted the proportions to my liking. I was inspired by this recipe and loved the fact it only uses 2 tbsp of oil and mostly natural sweetener. Make a big batch then store in an airtight container, or gift it in a jar. After all, everyone loves food gifts. Stay healthy and enjoy!
Simple Healthy Granola
By April 8, 2013Published:
- Yield: 4 cups
- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 1 hr 30 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 50 mins
Homemade granola is a nourishing breakfast, deliciously crunchy, sweet, crispy and fruity.
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup light-brown-sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla-essence
- 1 teaspoon cinammon
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup hazelnuts chopped
- Preheat oven to 250 F. In a large bowl, mix together old fashioned oats and quick cooking oats and toss together.
- In a small bowl mix together: honey, applesauce, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and vegetable oil.
- Pour the applesauce mixture over the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. Use your hands (preferred) or a spoon and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Spread the mixture over two baking sheets and bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Stir the granola every 20 minutes.
- After 1 hour, add the nuts and mix through, bake until everything is a light golden brown (it will get darker and crispy as it cools).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then mix in the dried fruits. Store in an airtight container. Serve with cold milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. It's perfect or breakfast, brunch or mid-day snack.