Granola has always had a reputation for being a “health" food. But most store-bought granola is really high in fat, sugar, and calories – and the source of fat is usually the kind that’s really bad for your heart, such as hydrogenated oils. If you make your own, however, it can be loaded with beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, and good sources of healthy fat, which can actually improve your cholesterol and heart health.
The below granola recipe in particular is great for stress relief because it includes pumpkin seeds, which are a terrific source of magnesium — which helps fend off anxiety — and zinc, which helps boost your immunity and relax the nervous system. This recipe also includes flaxseeds, an outstanding source of omega-3’s, which help our emotional health. And natural starchy carbs, such as oats, can help the brain make serotonin, the same substance used in antidepressants. Enjoy!
- 4 cups regular dry rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pumpkin (or sunflower) seeds, shelled
- 1/2 cup slivered (or crushed) almonds (or other nuts)
- 1/4 cup flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
When you combine it with Greek yogurt, it's a perfect, well-balanced snack (protein + healthy fat + the right kind of carbs)!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine oats, flaxseed, nuts and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.
3. Heat coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds and then whisk together oil, maple syrup, apple juice, and vanilla in a small bowl and toss with dry ingredients.
4. Spread on a large wax-paper-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and then combine with Greek yogurt for a well-balanced meal or snack.