Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Mama-Nola Recipe

I started making homemade granola when I was pregnant with my first child (or second...goodness, I can't remember which now!) as a way to have a healthy, cost efficient (we didn't have much back then) snack that I could keep with me to munch on during the day. I'd found that if I made sure to eat often, and include protein in each small meal, I would feel less nauseous and have more energy.

I'd also learned about a few key nutrients that were really important for pregnant mommas, and I was anxious to find ways to incorporate those into my diet with power packed foods. So, I found an easy and inexpensive recipe for granola, modified it a bit, and was really happy with the results. So happy, I began making batches for my friends when they announced their pregnancies, and giving bags as gifts when their new arrivals came into the world. Soon, someone nicknamed it "Mama-nola," and I guess it stuck.

Since we are trying to eat healthy, unprocessed, real food around here, I thought it was about time to mix up a batch, and share the recipe!

Here we go!

I happen to think that when you're baking, you just need an apron. Don't you think it makes the finished product taste better? I do.


 A long time ago, someone gave me this book, More with Less, which is written by Mennonites, and its goal is to learn to cook in a community conscious way, using less of the world's resources. It actually is a really good book to have if you're on a budget, or like to use sustainable, earth friendly practices in your home as well.


Here's the recipe: Simple Granola. You can see the original recipe here, and you'll see how I've modified it throughout the rest of the post.


You'll need two big bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet. If you have pretty bowls, use those. Who says you need a special occasion for them? Pretty bowls and aprons make everything taste better.


First, measure out 6 cups of whole, raw, natural (not quick) rolled oats.


Then 2 cups natural whole wheat flour.


Add 1 cup natural UNsweetened shredded coconut. If you're allergic to coconut, you can just eliminate it. I've made this recipe without it before, and it turned out great.


Here's where I do something a little different. The recipe calls for one full cup of wheat germ, but I use a half cup of ground flax seed or fresh ground flax seed power - LOADED with all the Omega fatty acids,


which looks like this,



and a half cup of the wheat germ - high in Vitamin E and Folic Acid,


which looks like this.


Mmmm, look at that pile of goodness!


Now, the wet ingredients.  1/2 cup water,


1 cup vegetable oil,


1 cup raw, all natural, Oklahoma honey,



2 teaspoons good, real vanilla extract (shh, don't tell Marc I used his expensive organic stuff),


and 1 tablespoon salt.


Then, we need to spruce up the dry ingredients a little bit more. Since we're not adding a bunch of sugar and syrup to the granola, we're going to add some spices to help give it a naturally sweet flavor.

So, sprinkle in some nutmeg,


and cinnamon.


Now, it gets really good.

Raw, untoasted or salted sunflower nuts - high in folic acid and add protein! I've also learned recently that the Safflower Oil in sunflower seeds has Omega-6, which may be extremely helpful in weight loss! More importantly, they're yummy and good for you!


Add a handful of chopped raw, natural walnuts, another great source of Omega-3 and protein.


Next up: dried fruits. Make sure there is NO sugar added. You don't need it; fruit is sweet already! I usually stick to berry blends, but saw this one at Akins the other day and thought it looked tasty! I love dried apples. And cherries. Okay, and raisins too.


Ahhhh, look at that! Yum!


Now, whisk together all those wet ingredients,


and pour it over your dry ingredients.


Okay, okay, time to give up on that pretty bowl and trade in for a bigger bowl so you can mix everything up well. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and the oats mixture looks moist.


Spread out over two baking sheets and pat down.


Place in a preheated 250 degree oven, and set the timer for 30 minutes.


Go do a Jillian Michael's workout (well, that's what I did...figured I'd squeeze in something good for me while I smelled the yummy delicious smells baking!), then return to take the pans out to turn the granola. You don't want one side to get too toasty.


Pop it back in the oven, and make sure to switch racks with those baking sheets. Set the timer for another 30 minutes,


Ding!

And enjoy that natural, healthy, wholesome, homemade Mama-nola!



Love, Honey, and Healthy eating!
Missy

4 comments:

Nina said...

Hey Nola... I love this recipe...its pretty much what I do except for the wheat... I was wondering the cinnamon nutmeg stuff while pregnant... I was told by a pregnant friend that she was avoiding it... any idea?

Missy Rose said...

Hi Nina, thanks for the comment! As far as I know there is no reason a pregnant mom couldn't eat cinnamon. I think the warnings to steer clear would be in reference to cinnamon bark supplements. I found a great and concise article about the benefits of cinnamon (in food) and cinnamon bark supplements at Livestrong here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/184965-cinnamon-bark-pregnancy/. They state, "Although pregnant women can eat foods containing cinnamon with little risk of adverse effects, most health care providers recommend against the use of cinnamon bark supplements during pregnancy." But, as always, consult with your midwife or physician about any concerns! Enjoy!

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