It has always puzzled me how granola was somehow mysteriously awarded the "health food of the decade" prize at the height of its popularity during the '70s. Even more perplexing to me is how it has continued to keep this healthful image through the '80s, especially considering our increased awareness of what constitutes good nutrition.
Most granola is loaded with sugar or honey and contains lots of unnecessary fat in the form of oil and coconut and sometimes even chocolate. The sugar, and that includes honey, causes tooth decay, and the oil adds fat calories that none of us need. Remember, fat will make you fat faster than anything else because it has more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates or protein. Fat has 9 calories per gram and the other two food groups, carbohydrates and protein, contain only 4 calories per gram.
I have been working on a truly healthy granola for a long time, and I have finally come up with one I think is great. By eliminating the refined sweeteners and the oil, I now have a granola that is sugar-free and practically fat-free. It is much lower in calories than the usual granola and won't cause cavities.
2 cups oats
1 cup rye flakes
1 cup unsweetened wheat flakes
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
Thoroughly combine oats, rye flakes, wheat flakes, nonfat dry milk powder, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In separate bowl, combine undiluted apple juice concentrate and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour liquid into dry mixture and mix well. Spread on bottom of large roasting pan and bake at 275 degrees 1 hour, stirring well every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Stir in raisins and apricots. Store in tightly covered container. Makes 4 cups.
Each 1/4-cup serving contains approximately:
Fat: 2 gm.
Sodium: 13 mg.