Pages

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guilt-Free Granola

This recipe is pure heaven.

Who doesn't love granola? Unfortunately, even though it is generally healthy, it tends to be very high in calories and fat because of the oil, sugar, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

My parents are both granola lovers, but as foodies who are also very intellectual/cerebral, they are more into reading than running. Thus, they need to watch their energy intake - something my mother tries to do...but, unfortunately, my father does not (his approach to food is pure hedonism).

They are coming to stay with us this weekend so they can attend the girls' birthday party, so I thought I would whip this up for them as a treat. It satisfies my mother's preference to limit unnecessary fat and calories at breakfast time, as well as my father's demand for pleasure.

The smell of this granola baking is irresistable!

I got the idea of replacing the oil with carrot puree from Jessica Seinfeld's latest cookbook...but I completely altered the recipe after that.

If you like your granola with big crunchy clusters, this is the recipe for you. Honestly, it turned out so delish, I don't know if I'll ever go back to making granola with oil!

I know Big A, my own granola lover, will enjoy it too...and she'll NEVER guess it is made with vegetables!!

1 lb organic large flake oats
4 cups unsweetened puffed brown rice cereal (like Nature's Path)
2 tbls organic chia seeds
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 4.5 oz jars organic pureed/strained carrot baby food (or 1/2 cup homemade carrot puree)
1/2 cup organic agave syrup

1/2 cup nuts and seeds* (optional) - almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
1.5 cups dried fruit** (optional) - raisins, cherries, berries, apples, apricots, dates, etc.

Mix together all the ingredients except nuts and fruit in a large bowl. Spread on non-stick baking sheet in single layer (you may have to do a few batches). Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Add nuts and fruit once granola is done. Keep in airtight container.

*Adding nuts and/or seeds will increase fat and calorie content.
**Preferably unsweetened fruits.