The Smart Way to Eat Granola + Mango Curry Granola

Mango Curry GranolaI love granola. But after all these years,  (granola was orginally introduced in the late 1800’s), many of us have been doing it all wrong. We’ve been eating this delicious, high fiber combination, the way it was marketed to us: filling cereal bowls to the brim  or snacking on it right out of the box or jar. Sound familiar?

What’s wrong with filling your cereal bowl with granola? It’s so nutrient dense (yes, I do mean high in calories!) and if you follow the recommended portion of  1/4 cup,  your bowl of cereal is teeny tiny. Here’s the solution: mix it with other, less nutrient dense cereals or use it as a topping for oatmeal (love it this way).

What’s wrong with snacking on granola out of the box or jar? It’s documented that we eat more food when eating out of large containers, than we do when eating out of smaller ones.  If you love to snack on granola, make sure to portion it  into smaller containers for eating (2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup portions are reasonable for most individuals).

Here’s the third, smart way to eat granola: Get creative with granola and us it as an ingredient in other foods. This easily and consitently  keeps the granola portion size in check.  I love   sweet and savory granola as a topping for vegetables;  raisin and sunflower seed granola as a coating for frozen bananas;  and fennel seed and pine nut granola paired with goat cheese. Once you try granola as an ingredient, you’ll find more uses for granola beyond breakfast and understand why this concept is so popular.

Today’s I made a granola that’s different then any of the ones I have made before  including my dark chocolate granola with za’tar and spooky apple pie granola.  This granola has some heat and is a flavor bomb, making it  the ideal granola for a cooking ingredient.  Stay tuned, you don’t want to miss my recipes using this salty and sour granola as a  substitue for panko on fish, a topping for a  springtime salad, and in a  recovery snack.

Mango Curry GranolaMango Curry GranolaHow do you use granola as an ingredient in other foods?

Mango Curry Granola

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (GF: look for gluten free label)
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Place ingredients oats through red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango. Store in an air tight container.

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Savory Partners: Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za’atar

What’s your favorite healthy chocolate companion? According to the Chocolate Lover’s Club, it goes with just about anything and they reference some unusual combinations from seafood and cheese to roasted cauliflower.  Hmm.  Before I reveal my choice, I want to thank the Recipe Redux team for this timely February topic, because I’m using it to multitask (in a time management kinda way):

1. Believe it or not, it’s an inspiration for cleaning out my pantry. Yep, using up chocolate leftover from Valentine’s Day (as well as some other ‘nearly gone’ ingredients; what else can you do with 2 tablespoons of red quinoa anyway?)

2. And yes, I ‘m  trying to make amends for the Valentine’s Day Treat (no bake chocolate mousse) that didn’t score me any brownie points. Geeze.

Maybe ‘the man’ will like this…my favorite chocolate combination…

\Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za'atar

dark chocolate + granola .  Here are the dry ingredients I used…

ingredients for Dark Chocolate + Granola with Za'atar

So 2 tablespoons of this,  and a quater cup of that…. what a thrifty way to polish off small portions of pantry staples.  And at the last minute, I added what I now consider the secret ingredient ..za’atar.  Ever since I used this spice blend  in my Mediterranean Dip   I’ve been yearning to try it in granola. It’s an aromatic blend of sumac, sesame seeds, dried thyme, salt,  and other spices. The label states it goes best with lamb, chicken, fish and veggies. So, what about chocolate? It’s the bomb! Which means.. this month I’m one for one.  I’ll take it.  Ok, so now that I’ve got my family happily munching away on a delicious snack, how about nutrition? This is no more or no less healthier than most other granolas. Really. Close to 100 calories in 2 Tablespoons, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams protein, low in cholesterol , low in sodium and a very good source of manganese. So here’s the bottom line: if you like the taste of dark chocolate, and you want the heart healthy benefits of plant flavanols, please enjoy this one mindfully. Don’t forget to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more healthy chocolate pairings from my friends and colleague members of the Recipe Redux.

What’s your chocolate philosophy? Do you think it goes with everything?

Dark Chocolate Granola with Za'atar

Dark Chocolate  Granola with Za'atar

Dark Chocolate Granola with Za’atar

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (to make gluten free, gluten free label)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white (omit for vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil (or coconut oil for paleo diet)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, broken into bite sized pieces

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Rinse quinoa and add to a medium bowl with the next four dry ingredients.

3. whisk egg white and oil and add to oat mixture along with honey and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

4. Spread oat mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. 5.Bake, stirring every 10 minutes until golden. (20-25 minutes)

6. Allow to cool completely befoe adding raisins and dark chocolate. Serve or store in an air tight container.

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