Breakfast Granola

I figured that as I was drinking my cup of french press coffee (Stumptown Panama Carmen estate, made in my trusty Bodum Chambord 8-Cup Coffee Press) that I may break the silence by writing about breakfast.

You see, breakfast is rather tough for me. I get low-blood sugar fairly easily, so I really need to eat in the morning to stave off feeling woozy and getting cranky. The thing is, I also (like many people) consume most of my calories later in the day, which means I need a light, but effective, breakfast. So far, nothing has really fit the bill for me, but has lead to a lot of experimentation. One such experiment was making my own granola.

I came to making my own granola after 1) noticing the cost of granola and 2) noticing my once favorite cereal (due to high fiber and low calorie content) Kashi GoLean contained soy, which I try to avoid due to it’s connection to endocrine disruption. I’ve been playing around with the recipe, but it goes something like this:

Heat oven to 250°F

5 cups rolled oats (you can also use a rolled mixed grain, unflavored hot cereal mix)
1 cup wheat germ (you can omit and just add more oats, but this adds some vitamins)
1/2 cup Agave Nectar (can also use maple syrup or honey, but agave has a low glycemic index)
1/2 cup water
1 cups dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice)
1/2 cup almonds (or nuts of your choice)
3 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the oats and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl. In a food processor, chopper or blender, add the agave nectar, water, dried cranberries, almonds table salt and ground cinnamon and process until the nuts and fruit are well chopped. Pour the processed ingredients over the grain mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until it is of the same texture. Use a cookie/jelly roll pan and spread out the mixture as evenly as possible. Put in the oven for 60 minutes, then turn off the oven, leaving the granola in for a bit longer to dry out. (I usually leave it in for a couple more hours)

The longer you leave it in the warm oven, the crunchier it gets. Also, the more moisture you draw out of it, the longer it will keep in your cupboard. I use Snapware 11 Cup Airtight Flip-Top Container for keeping my granola fresh. Also works well if you buy cereal in bulk.

The one thing about the granola that bugs me is that it’s not a low calorie breakfast. In Weight Watchers terms, one serving (1/2 cup) of my homemade granola, like most granola, comes out at between 4-6 Points per serving, depending on the nut and fruit content. This is high-quality grains, though, not some weird twig mash from Kashi. I have to believe it is a better food, especially since the ingredients can be purchased in bulk, without a lot of packaging. It’s still not my perfect breakfast. It’s worth it, though. You can make a more than a weeks worth of cereal in one evening. The price is nice, too.

Alright, now that my coffee cup is almost empty, it’s time for me to go towards the rest of my day. Where’s my apple?

2 thoughts on “Breakfast Granola

  1. One of the best things about working for the Tall Grass Bakery was getting their granola for free. It was simply the best I’ve ever had. Maybe one day I will try making my own…

    Should I be avoiding soy??

    1. With regards to avoiding soy – it depends on who you listen to. I’ve heard for many years (including while I worked for Whole Foods) the pros and cons of soy. Women came in asking for it as an alternative to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) citing articles that the phytoestrogens in soy were as good, or better, than the synthetic hormones offered by their doctors. Men would come in (often cardiac patients) with the recommendation that soy was heart-healthy. Body builders coming in for protein powders would typically avoid the cheaper soy protein like the plague, citing negative effects. To say that soy, which has been in our food supply in so many ways anyway, has infiltrated everything. I mean, think about it – a vegan can eat most of an entire meal consisting of soy, wheat and corn products only. Animal free, but loaded up with food from Big Ag, and a bulk of it made either totally, or mostly, from soy.

      What I’ve learned about soy historically is that it was traditionally eaten by monks to dampen sexual desire. Also, that it wasn’t eaten unfermented (soy sauce, natto) until very recently in history, and was usually fed to livestock or used for fertilizer.

      And then the punchline, a rather worrisome article in Men’s Health titled Is This the Most Dangerous Food for Men?.

      I figure that I get enough soy in my diet without eating it on purpose. I also know that my endocrine system is already messed up (PCOS, one of the most common endocrine disorders in women), so avoiding soy is my effort to be pro-active about a syndrome that the medical establishment doesn’t seem to know a lot about. And not to be a too conspiracy theorist, but I know many women who have been diagnosed with PCOS, and note that my generation had a lot of people started with soy based formula as babies. To say the least, I’m curious as to if there is any connection.

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