Guest Post by Krista A. Parr
Processed cereal is a popular choice for breakfast because it’s quick and convenient. However, when whole grains are forced into unnatural shapes like flakes, puffs, shreds, sticks, and o’s through a high-pressure process called extrusion, most of the nutrients are destroyed and the amino acids (proteins) are rendered toxic. This is how all boxed cereals are made, even the ones marketed as “healthy.”
So what’s the alternative? Make a large batch of this healthy granola on the weekend, and enjoy it for breakfast throughout the week! Because all of the ingredients are whole, unrefined foods, you will feel fuller for longer than you would with conventional cereal. From a fertility perspective, this delicious breakfast will not spike blood sugar levels like boxed cereal, meaning no inflammatory response will be triggered. Further, the zinc in the pumpkin seeds, raisins, and pure maple syrup is necessary for hormone production and utilization as well as sperm production, quality, and quantity. The antioxidants in the raw cacao fight to protect eggs and sperm from oxidative damage.
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups organic rolled oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic raisins
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened dried cranberries
Optional: 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs or 1.5 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Pour all ingredients except raisins, dried cranberries, and cacao nibs or powder in a large bowl and stir well.
3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet in a thin layer. (If you are doubling this recipe, spread mixture over 2 pans)
4. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove pan from oven, toss granola around, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. Repeat until granola is completely dry and light golden brown (about 1 hour total).
6. Allow to cool and then stir in raisins, dried cranberries, and cacao nibs or powder. Store in an air-tight container.
Enjoy for breakfast with organic, plain, full-fat yogurt and some fresh berries.
Yield: about 4 cups (I suggest doubling this recipe!)
Krista A. Parr is a Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Root to Fruit Nutrition, specializing in fertility and women’s health. www.RootToFruitNutrition.ca