There’s nothing quite like homemade granola. It sort of sounds like it might be too much work, but once you get started, you’ll find that the reward hugely outweighs the minimal amount of work it takes to put it together! Granola is one of my favorite snacks. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but it’s definitely good for that. And when I was pregnant and nursing, there was never a more perfect food than granola. You can grab a big handful, top a bowl of yogurt with a sprinkle of it, or mix it with some fresh fruit and a little almond milk and it’s enough to keep you full until the next meal (or snack) time.
This granola happens to be full of nutritional powerhouses too. Nothing quite gets the job done like nuts and seeds. A little goes a long way! This recipe is packed with sesame seeds (a little non-dairy calcium boost!), pistachios (high in protein, fiber, potassium and iron), and pumpkin seeds which are also high in magnesium and iron. It’s full of toasted oats and crunchy almonds too, both of which encourage lactation. Dried unsweetened cherries give a little sweet but tart flavor while adding fiber and antioxidants. I also added unsweetened coconut flakes along with coconut oil (high in lauric acid which also stimulates milk production), maple syrup and brown sugar to satisfy any sweet tooth, and a little salt to give that salty-sweet satisfaction. This granola is so good, it always hits the spot. And once you get the hang of it, you can start experimenting with your own nut/seed blends to really make it your own. Nursing mamas, this one is for you!
Super Seedy Granola
2 ¾ cup rolled oats (not quick cooking!)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
⅓ cup pistachios
⅓ cup chopped raw almonds
⅓ pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup coconut oil
⅓ cup grade A maple syrup
1 cup dried unsweetened cherries or raisins
Step 1: Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mix together oats, nuts, seeds and salt in a large bowl.
Step 3: In a small pot over medium-high heat, mix together brown sugar, oil, and maple syrup. Stir it together well and keep a close eye on it. Let it come to a frothy boil. As soon as it is mixed together and boiling, take it off the heat and very quickly add it to the oat/seed/nut mix. Using a nonstick or wooden spoon, stir the oat mix and sugar mix quickly and thoroughly until all of the oat mix is coated.
Step 4: Spread the mix onto the baking sheet in one thin layer pressing down so it’s relatively even.
Step 5: Bake granola for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven, stirring once or twice every 15 minutes or so. It should be deep golden brown when it is done and smell amazing. Once it is finished and out of the oven, but still hot, stir in dried fruit (if using) right on the tray. Let it cool and then break it into clusters. Store in an airtight container for as long as it lasts!
Contributed by Alfia Muzio, founder of Vestal, the company that is dedicated to helping families foster confidence (and deliciousness) in the kitchen. Check out @vestal_life for more inspiration and recipes.