Ever since I discovered LoveCrunch this winter, I havn't been able to eat granola thats not chocolate. It just doesn't compare. Anyways, today when I went to make my usual snack of plain greek yogurt, blueberries and LoveCrunch I discovered...we were OUT (the horror).
So I came up with a replacement! My substitute granola is definitely different. I used carob instead of actual cocoa (call me crazy but I love the stuff), and I added a load of healthy essential fatty acids!
I decided to make this is my tribute to heart health in delicious granola form! The last unit I student-nursed on was a cardio-thoracic surgery unit, so I’ve seen the devastation of heart disease first hand.
Disclaimer: this granola will not save you from a severe cardiac episode.
But it is heart healthy!
Omega-3 (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) that is vital in many bodily functions. It cannot be produced in the body, and therefore must be consumed in your diet. Ingesting adequate amounts of omega-3 has been shown to fight cardiac disease by stabilizing the heart’s electrical system, decreasing systemic inflammation, lowering blood pressure and slowing down the rate of arterial plaque build up. How much is adequate you ask? 1.6 g/day for adult males and 1.1 g/day for adult females is the recommended adequate intake (AI), and you should aim to consume at least 7-11g/week according to a study out of Tufts University.
Other sweet benefits:
Omega-3s have been shown to boost mood and relieve depression. Also, they keep the mind sharp and consuming adequate amounts has been shown to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
More good news? Omega-3s also improve the health of your skin! They are a very important part of the lubricating layer of your skin, and will help keep it resilient and supple. EFAs also aid in the production of hormones that improve skin texture and decrease inflammation that can occur as a result of free radicals – this helps reduce blotchiness and wrinkles.
So now are you excited to try this granola?!
1 c. oats
1 T. ground flaxseed
2 T. pumpkin seeds
2 T. chopped walnuts
1 T. hemp seeds
2 tsp. carob powder
2 T. unsweetened carob chips
1 T. agave syrup (or natural maple syrup)
1 T. molasses
1 T. flaxseed oil
1) In a mixing bowl combine the oats, ground flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, carob powder and carob chips.
2) In a separate bowl mix together the agave syrup, molasses and flaxseed oil. Add the wet mixture to the oat mixture and stir until combined. Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let granola cool and enjoy!
Each ¼ cup serving packs 1.1 g of omega-3! How you ask? This granola gets pumped up with EFAs from ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds and flaxseed oil – all rich sources of omega-3s!
I’m new to calculating nutrition information, but here is the math (I double checked I promise):
Per ¼ cup serving:
5.6 g fat (1.1 g omega-3)
2.8 g protein
Yay yogurt parfaits!
This plus 30 minutes of Dave Farmer Vinyasa from yogadownload equals perfection.