Cinnamon Almond Granola

Cinnamon Almond Granola
This recipe oozes yummy wholesomeness; it fills the house with a warming aroma of spiced sweet cinnamon and roasted nuts. The natural ingredients are so nourishing, and you can really taste a difference between this homemade granola and the sugar-laden shop bought stuff!

Which brings me on to sugar. The enemy. The addictive drug that’s packaged in pretty colours and drives kids crazy. To see the addict-like behaviour that sugar induces, you just have to watch one of those “I ate all your Halloween candy” videos on Youtube (which are actually quite hilarious!).

Like most health conscious foodies, I try to avoid refined-sugar, but of course it lurks in foods that you wouldn’t even expect it in (bread, soup, yoghurt!). And unless you want to live off cabbage and boiled potatoes, I feel you can’t avoid it. Also I’m a firm believer in not limiting yourself -- it’s a-okay to have a biscuit every now and then if that’s what your heart desires! Self-restriction and deprivation is way worse than chocolate (see my blog post about the darkside of clean eating here).

Saying that, lately I’ve been suffering from irritable bowels and painful stomach cramps. This has been on and off for a while for me, despite the fact that I lead a (mostly) healthy lifestyle. I’ve been to the doctors twice and they told me that nothing was wrong. After receiving some homeopathic advice yesterday, I’ve decided to eliminate sugar of all kinds (as best I can) from my diet – at least for a few days, to see if I notice a difference.  

This wouldn’t seem so bad to me if it was just the nasty refined type I was cutting out. But no, I’m trying to cut out natural sugars too! Which is going to seem REALLY HARD because I eat so much fruit... I have about 3 portions in breakfast alone! I’m currently taking it a day at a time and fingers crossed the change will help settle my stomach.

Of course, this means that my usual fruity oaty breakfast may have to be temporarily replaced by other non-sugary foods. This got my creative recipe senses tingling! What can I make that’s healthy, refined-sugar free, vegan and yummy for breakfast?

Recipe: Cinnamon Almond Granola

2 mugs oats
1 mug almonds
½ mug walnuts
½ mug cashews
1 mug mixed flaxseeds and sunflower seeds
½ mug pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp cinnamon

1)      Preheat the oven to 200˚C (Or 180˚C fan)
2)      Add the almonds, walnuts and cashews to a blender and pulse until partially crushed
3)      Add the crushed nuts and other dry ingredients to a bowl
4)      In a pan, gently melt the maple syrup, coconut oil and cinnamon over a low heat
5)      Add the melted mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until coated with the liquid and slightly sticky
6)      Add the mixture to a baking try and place in the oven for 30-40 mins. Make sure you turn the ingredients after about 15 minutes to prevent the top and sides from burning.

Tip: You can experiment by adding dried fruits like sultanas and apricots into this recipe if you're after a sweeter taste!

I may be trying to avoid sugars at the minute, but this granola goes great with coconut yoghurt (or any yoghurt really!) and fruit.

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