DIY Healthy Holiday Gifts!
Is granola healthy? I’m often asked this question in my classes and with my health coaching clients, and nobody likes the answer, “it depends” though its often the only one I have. Although granola CAN BE healthy, it is one of those products that you need to be an expert label reader to determine if it’s a good choice for you. Finding granola with clean ingredients and no added refined sugar or oil is challenging. I like to make my own granola so I can control what ingredients go into it. Making granola is surprisingly simple, easy to customize and with minimal effort can be turned into a wonderful gift.
The essence of granola is old fashioned rolled oats, which have numerous health benefits. Although oats are a carbohydrate, they are low on the glycemic index and rich in magnesium making them a good choice for sustained energy without a spike in blood glucose levels. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, which helps to lower cholesterol and may prevent heart disease and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Another benefit to oats is that they help you feel fuller longer, which helps control your weight.
With the addition of quinoa, nuts and seeds, the protein content of this granola has soared which will slow down the digestion process keeping you satiated for longer. The nuts and seeds also provide healthy fats, which are necessary for the body to absorb vitamins A, D and E.
If you prefer other nuts or seeds to the ones listed in the recipe, feel free to substitute, just try to keep the quantities (ratio of nuts to grains and liquid ingredients) similar. Hubby likes dried fruit in his granola, so I often will make half the batch with dried cranberries for him.
Tis the season…….and I love to give homemade gifts! This is an awesome way to personalize those coffee store gift cards you will be doling out. A jar of granola with a pretty bow is such a lovely gift to receive……with, or without a gift card attached.