Vicky’s Granola (Lower-Carb, Gluten-Free, Fiber-Rich)
This crunchy fiber-rich granola provides plentiful amounts of healthy fats from nuts and seeds, as well as heart-protective omega-3 fats from the ground flaxseed. Pumpkin seeds are especially rich in protein and zinc, both important for maintenance and repair of body tissues, as well as a strong immune system. The oat bran adds extra soluble fiber, and dried cherries (or raisins) provide natural sweetness, along with more soluble fiber to help support healthy gut function. Consider topping the granola with ½ cup of unsweetened yogurt to add more protein (about 4 g) and calcium (about 150 mg). And you might also want to add a half cup of fresh berries for even more fiber and additional plant protectors.
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (preferably organic)
- 1 cup oat bran (preferably labeled gluten-free)
- ½ cup raw flax seeds, ground (to make 1 cup ground flaxseed)
- 1 cup dried pitted tart cherries, unsweetened (Montmorency)—about 6 oz.
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil (or 4 tbsp), melted
- ½ – 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 300-degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, ground flax seeds, cherries, and salt. Add the coconut oil and water, and stir to thoroughly mix all ingredients together. You may need to add additional water slowly to make sure that there is no more powdered oat bran and/or ground flaxseed in the bottom of the bowl. It’s best to add any additional water a few tablespoons at a time to make sure the mixture does not get soggy.
Pour the mixture out onto a cookie sheet that you have covered with parchment paper. Smooth out the mixture, so that it covers the baking sheet evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes, checking at least once to make sure that the granola doesn’t burn. Cool and store in a covered jar or bowl, preferably in the freezer (to protect fats from oxidation/rancidity).
Recipe makes a total of 8 cups. Each half-cup serving provides about 225 calories, 6g protein, 16g fat (6g sat – see note below), 0 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrate (6 g sugar, 7 g fiber), 45 mg calcium, 110 mg magnesium, 80 mg sodium, and 230 mg potassium.
NOTE: The saturated fat in this recipe is all from coconuts. While the controversy about saturated fat and heart health continues, I appreciate the perspective of Mark Hyman, MD, on this topic http://drhyman.com/blog/2017/06/26/coconut-oil/.