I grew up eating cereal for breakfast. It’s quick, and has the added bonus that small children can serve breakfast to themselves. But it’s a total convenience food, processed, and full of sugar and other carbohydrates.
Several years ago I gave up the store-bought type and started making my own. I made a modified version of the Homemade Crunchy Muesli from a book by Azmina Govindji called Great Healthy Food Diabetes. It’s quick to make and delicious. The kids even liked it! But every once in a while when I had some time to spare and we were getting sick of muesli, I’d make up a big batch of granola, using the recipe (more of a template) from Whole Foods for the Whole Family.
Those days are over, though, since those both contain pretty hefty amounts of carbs. There are 30g per serving (1/14th of the recipe – I never knew quite how much that was) of muesli (I fail to see how that’s a good amount of carbs for a diabetic to start the day) plus milk and/or yogurt, which contains more carbs, and it’s likely more for the granola, what with the molasses or honey or maple syrup, plus wheat flour and rolled outs in it. And store bought Quaker 100% Natural Granola contains 33.5g of carbs per 1/2 cup serving. I don’t know about you, but I never used to eat 1/2 cup servings at breakfast, it was always more. I do now, however, when I eat (homemade) cereal for breakfast.
My wee one loves granola, so I’ve been trying various recipes to satisfy him. None have worked so far, and all of them involve splenda or other sweetener. I’m not big on those because I feel like the jury is still out on them… but who knows? Anyway, using fake sugar just doesn’t feel right to me. I’d rather use fruit purées. In the case of granola, I’ve experimented with mashed banana, but it didn’t really work. So today I tried something of a mishmash between a few recipes I’ve come across, including this about.com one, the one from Rose Elliot’s The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet Cookbook, and one from Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb Recipes. And I think we might have a winner.
Keep in mind that we have been cutting down the sugar in our recipes for years and in the past month or two the only refined sugar we’ve had has been in our 80% dark chocolate bars or semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips. And we don’t use sweetener. So we have effectively whittled our sweet tooth (sweet teeth?) down to a bare minimum. So, if you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add some of your favourite sweetener.
Also, I do most measurements in weight because it’s easier to count carbs that way (my awesome husband made a great carb-counting spreadsheet in which we can figure out our recipes). Apologies if you don’t have a kitchen scale. Lee Valley sells a great one.
Lynn’s low-carb granola v.1
Two things to note about granola: a) it burns easily and b) it crisps up a little more after you’ve taken it out of the oven and let it cool for a bit.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
70 g butter (around 1/4 cup) (if you’re vegan, you can use coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cooking molasses
1/4 cup water
1 tsp (3.7 g) ground cinnamon
15 g vanilla whey protein isolate
45 g (about 1/4 cup whole) flax seeds, ground
100 g brazil nuts, chopped
100 g walnuts, chopped
100 g almonds, chopped
100 g hazelnuts, chopped
100 g pumpkin seeds
100 g sunflower seeds
50 g sesame seeds
50 g unsweetened coconut flakes
Mix the wet ingredients in a small pan over low heat until runny. Turn off heat.
Mix dry ingredients well in a roasting pan. Pour wet over dry and mix well.
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.
Store in an airtight container for a week or two.
1 serving at about 1/2 cup / 60 g:
Protein: 10.74 g
Fat: 34.02 g
Carbohydrates (minus fibre): 4.22 g