Healthy snacks are essential for us to keep up our metabolism and to help us avoid panic eating and this Homemade Granola with Seeds & Dried Fruit is the perfect, on-the-go healthy snack!

This recipe takes in the health benefits of oats, seeds and dried fruit which are common ingredients in store-bought granola, but why make homemade, you ask? There are great benefits to making homemade granola! Most commercial granola contains high levels of processed sugar as well as processed soy. When you make your own granola, you may choose organic ingredients, natural sweeteners and no fillers!

Oats are most notable for their known cardiovascular benefits but they are also hugely beneficial for your digestive system. The water-soluble fibers, called beta-glucans, help to make us feel more full, feeds the essential healthy bacteria in our guts and helps to support healthy blood sugar levels.

A better-know benefit of eating oats is that they support your cardiovascular system. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are linked with decreased levels of LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of gaining fat around the abdominal area.

“In a very large scale study in Denmark involving over 50,000 adults between the ages of 50–64 years, intake of oats has been associated with decreased risk of heart attack (also known as myocardial infarct, or MI). Researchers conducting this study pointed to potential roles for both soluble and insoluble fibers in producing the study results. Some more complicated metabolic processes may also be involved in the cardiovascular benefits related to intake of oats. In particular, researchers have been interested in the ability of oat intake to lessen the risk of excessive inflammation in the blood vessels.” WH Foods

There are also many other lesser known health benefits of eating oats such as being rich in antioxidants, assisting in Hemoglobin formation, helping to improve muscle mass, decreasing the risk of asthma in children and promoting healthy vision.

“Vitamin A [contained in oats] can also be an effective treatment for dry eyes. In addition, some studies suggest that this vitamin plays a part in decreasing the risk of macular degeneration, which causes vision loss.” Well-being Secrets

Click here for printable recipe!

Homemade granola almonds

Homemade Granola with Seeds & Dried Fruit

Ingredients

2 Cups sunflower seeds
1 Cup pumpkin seeds
1 Cup gluten free flour (we recommend chickpea flour)
10 Cups rolled oats
3 Cups chopped almonds
2 Cups shredded coconut
1 Tsp salt
2 Tsp cinnamon
2 Cups honey or pure maple syrup (use this variation for the vegan version)
¼ Cup molasses
1 Cup water
2 Tbsps Vanilla
Dried fruits of your choice: raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, etc.

Method

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Combine all wet ingredients and, if using honey, soften it slightly on low heat before adding.

Combine ingredients and mix well. Spread thinly on baking sheets and heat at 325F for 20 minutes. Stir the ingredients to break up large chunks and reduce heat to 250F and bake for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Allow the granola to cool and add in dried fruits of your choice. Store in an air-tight container and even freeze half the quantity to keep it fresh.

Enjoy!

Click here for printable recipe!

Source: Saving the Green

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