Sunday, January 31, 2010

no high fructose corn syrup

Just thought that title would get some people's attention. But really, I'm not all into 100% organic and natural foods, simply because it's not financially practical, but after watching the Martha show this week, I've been a little weary of over processed food. Well, I mean, I make most of my food from scratch anyway, but I'm talking about cereal and things like that. And my sister made me this amazing granola when I visited her last Summer, and I've basically been dreaming about it since. And granola especially is usually packed with high fructose corn syrup. Not a huge fan of that idea. Not super opposed to it, either, but still not a huge fan.

After my last depressing weight gain at the OB/GYN last week, I decided it was time to not let myself succumb to my serious pregnancy cravings (that seem to have suddenly appeared in the last trimester) too much. See, usually I'm a huge savory food person. Sure, I love my chocolates and sweet things, but in general I'd rather eat up the calories in pasta or rice or bread instead of cakes or pies or pastries. Not the case when I'm pregnant. I need my sweet food. NEED IT. So, for breakfast this morning I made us a nice low fat (sort of ... I'll explain), healthy granola. The thing about granola is, though, that no matter how "healthy" it is, you have to seriously watch portions. This one doesn't have any added fats, but is packed with nuts and other good things instead. Which is why it's "sort of" low in fat. But nuts are still fatty--no matter how much you try to justify it by saying it's "good fat". Good fat is still fat. So a portion size is about 1/2 C. Which I'm totally ok with. Plop on some fat free plain Greek yogurt and some fresh or frozen fruit, and you've got yourself a delicious and healthy way to start your day. And I'll admit, I was really satisfied. Which is hard to accomplish these days.

Healthy Nutty Granola
makes about 10 half cup portions
1.5~2 C various raw and unsalted nuts, chopped coarse (I used about 1/2 C each of pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts)
1/2 C puffed brown rice cereal ($1 for a HUGE bag at Walmart)
1/4~1/2 C ground or chopped flax seeds (optional. Another option would be wheat germ)
3 C old fashioned oats
1/3 C honey
1/3 C pure maple syrup
1/4 t coarse salt
1/4 t cinnamon
*optional: 1/2 C dried fruit. I don't add this because I think the chewy texture is distracting and I prefer fresh fruit, but by all means add it if you like it!
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the maple syrup and honey on low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and preheat the oven to 300°F. Prepare a baking pan by giving it a quick pray with vegetable spray and set aside.
  3. Once the syrup and honey are warm and quite a bit thinner, pour it over the dry ingredients and stir quickly to get everything covered. Spread it out on the prepare baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30~35 minutes, tossing occasionally, until nuts are toasted and everything is evenly browned.
  4. Place on a cooling rack and let cool completely. Place in an airtight container and enjoy all week!
Here's a picture of my cutie enjoying her granola breakfast. And peanut butter toast, since I can't hide the smears on her cheek.

1 comment:

Kevin Phair said...

I TOTALLY know what you mean about the last trimester. I tried REALLY hard with my second one to keep from gaining all the wait. But with my first child by the last trimester I had gained 20-ish pounds and then, schazam, I'm up to 38 lbs at delivery. It can pack on QUICK so you're smart to be careful.

Sounds like delicious granola. I think I'll have to try it. I would even try making my own pasta but after seeing how perfect your noodles were by using a pasta machine I don't think I'm willing to go through all the effort.