It is always great to start your day with a healthy and tasty breakfast. And even if hitting the snooze button too many times is a part of your wake-up routine, you can still have a great morning if you have a batch of granola on hand.
When it comes to breakfast staples, there is nothing better than granola, especially a homemade one. Not only it is super tasty, but due to its rich source of good-for-you components, granola can be a perfect addition to your daily food plan. To make your granola even more beneficial, we have packed seven useful ingredients as well as the top four ways to enjoy your granola.
Is Granola Healthy?
Granola is a breakfast cereal similar to muesli but usually has a more crunchy and chunky texture. Common ingredients typically include a toasted blend of oats, different nuts and sweeteners like sugar or honey. They may also contain useful additives, such as various grains, dried fruit, spices, seeds and nut butter.
Some other ingredients may include chocolate or cocoa powder, syrups and oils. Granola is usually a calorie-dense food, but its final nutritional value depends on the particular ingredients used. Some products may be high in fat, carbs and sugar, while others are richer in protein and fibre. Granola is packed with protein, fibre, and micronutrients. It may also contain useful mineral and vitamins, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamins B and E.
Seven Beneficial Ingredients To Add To Your Granola
Although old-fashioned oats, salt, butter and sweeteners are the basic ingredients for perfect homemade granola, different mix-ins can vary from one recipe to another. Here are some ideas for components that you can also add to your granola.
With their natural sweetness, dates are not only great sugar substitutes, but they are also loaded with antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These compounds are beneficial for brain activity and bones health. Dates are also quite rich in dietary fibre and essential fatty acids that help to control weight.
These seeds are full of valuable nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Consuming seeds can lower blood sugar levels, relieve symptoms of prostate and improve heart health by decreasing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Adding pumpkin seeds will also bring an additional textural element to your granola.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
It’s the unprocessed chocolate that is loaded with magnesium, flavonoids, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese. Cocoa can help to alleviate high blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide levels, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, improve mood and symptoms of depression, boost flow to your brain and brain function. It might also aid weight control by suppressing appetite and inflammation, regulating the use of energy, and providing fat oxidation and feelings of fullness.
This natural supplement can spice up your cooking experience while adding a wide variety of potential health benefits to your nutrition regime. After getting into your system, cannabidiol (CBD) is able to interfere with receptors of your cell-signalling endocannabinoid system to provide needed relief and promote better wellness. The positive effect on this system means that taking CBD oil can help to regulate vital bodily functions, which aid in relieving pain, reducing anxiety and stress levels, promoting better sleep, among other benefits. You can add a few drops of the oil to your granola or buy CBD oil products like breakfast cereal, peanut butter, dried fruits and many others.
Raisins are a high source of energy, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and one of the healthier alternatives to sugar-rich candies and sweet products. Raisins help to improve digestion and skin health, lower blood sugar and risk of heart disease risk factors, prevent anaemia and increased acidity and support bone health.
Linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) contain a high level of omega 3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for the heart, and natural fibre, which supports the function of the gut and bowel. They provide both soluble and insoluble fibres, which may benefit digestion and help to control weight.
Four Ways To Use Granola
You can savour granola at any time of the day: use it as a delicious breakfast topping or enjoy granola as an afternoon snack. It’s easily turned from a quick snack to a more substantial meal. While granola can be consumed as a complete product, it also can be added to various foods and beverages, for example:
Add it to your oatmeal
When it comes to your morning bowl of oats, one of the best things is that you can add anything you can possibly imagine to your oatmeal, including your granola. For some extra crunch, simply sprinkle a little granola, add sliced apples (or berries of your choice) and enjoy the healthy breakfast that will fill you up for hours. Adding granola to your yoghurt or cereal bowl is also a great option.
Try out no-bake granola bars
For a fast and yummy snack that you can easily take with you, you can also try out no-bake granola bars. To do so, mix ingredients like oatmeal, honey, butter and peanut butter and melt them in a pan on the stovetop. Once they cool, all you have to do is to cut your granola into slices.
Make your own trail mix
Don’t like a traditional trail mix? Now it is a great time to make your own! Make sure to combine nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips and granola clusters to create your own unique trail mix. Put your creation in a suitable baggie or container and enjoy your crunchy and delicious snack anywhere and anytime.
Stir into smoothies
Whether it is strawberry banana, cocoa beet or a blueberry smoothie, granola just made your morning smoothie infinitely more delicious. Adding a handful of granola to your morning smoothie also will help make it extra rich and creamy and keep you full for longer. To prepare a smoothie bowl, toss all the ingredients of your favourite smoothie recipe with some granola and blend thoroughly until smooth.