Healthy Gluten Free Strawberry Granola
Granola is commonly thought of as a healthy breakfast option but may not be as healthy as you think. Some granola’s are better than others but often they are loaded with unnecessary fat and added sugar. Sugar tends to be the biggest downfall of both homemade and store bought granola. One cup can have upwards of 25 grams of sugar. That is two times as much as a glazed doughnut! This may be a total shocker for many of you but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch this extremely yummy breakfast option from your diet, it just means you have to recreate it! Making your own healthy version is super easy, quick and will allow you to control the amount of sugar and ingredients you add so it now becomes a very diet friendly option. The best part is, you can get as creative as you wish, changing up the ingredients and flavors depending on your mood. Sometimes I add various dried fruits, seeds or nuts and other times keep it more simple with my simple 4 ingredient base.
4 Ingredients I use as my base
1. Whole Oats. Whole oats are full of good-for-you fiber, high in protein, and contain vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium. I use the 100% pure whole rolled oats, not the “instant” or “quick cooking”. The instant or quick cooking oats are processed and have a finer consistency that don’t yield the best granola.
2. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is my oil of choice. It is full of nutrients and good fat. Coconut oil is full of MCT (medium chain triglycerides), which are processed in the body similar to a carbohydrate so keep your metabolism on fire and give you lots of energy! It also adds a really nice light flavor to the granola and helps the other ingredients stick to the oats. Coconut oil also has a high smoke point so will not go rancid during the baking process.
3. Protein Powder. I always add a high quality protein powder to my granola to boost the protein levels. Without the protein powder, you are getting a good amount of healthy fats and carbs with only small amount of protein. By adding the protein powder it not only adds delicious flavor but a bit of extra protein to keep your muscles happy and belly satisfied.
4. Sweetener. To sweeten, I use Flex Flavors which are flavored stevia packs. This is what sets my granola apart from others. Flex Flavors allow me to add flavor without sugar. Since the downfall of typical granola is high sugar, this is what really makes for a healthy version.. Even if a granola is sweetened with a natural sweetener such as raw organic sugar or honey, it is still sugar and will raise blood sugar and add unnecessary calories and sugar that you don’t need.
*Additional (optional) Ingredients. When I want to get more creative and am in the mood for adding in other ingredients, a few favorites are nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and/or freeze dried fruit. They do add extra good fat, calories and natural sugar (if you choose to use dried fruit) but still make for a very healthy granola. If you choose to use dried fruit, just make sure it is in small amounts and unsweetened to keep the sugar content down.
Making your own granola can be very simple and fun! Check out my super simple granola recipe that is loaded with good fats, complex carbs, protein, and fiber and without all the unnecessary sugar! With under 200 per 1/4 cup serving, it makes for the perfect breakfast cereal or grab and go snack!
This basic recipe can be served as a breakfast cereal with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, added to unsweetened Greek yogurt or simply munched on as a dry snack.
Gina’s Simple Strawberry Homemade Granola Recipe
2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
2 scoops Devotion Angel Food Cake protein powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
5 Strawberry Fields Flex Flavors
1.5 cups freeze dried strawberries (optional)
pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Combine all ingredients, except dried fruit (if you are adding fruit) in a mixing bowl and use a spatula to mix well and toss to until all oats are coated with ingredients. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden brown. I suggest you mix around about half way through cooking to allow to toast evenly. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Get creative and add any fun healthy ingredients that you may be in the mood for!
1 serving (1/4 cup)