Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homemade Granola

I consider homemade granola an herbal preparation. Flax seed, Millet seed, Pumpkin seed, Sunflower seed, Oats -- this food includes plants that can offer healthful, even medicinal changes within the body.

It is a rare herbal consultation of mine that does not include an ode to Flax seed. Containing omega 3 fatty acids, lignans (a kind of plant molecule with hormonal properites), and both soluble and insoluble fiber, Flax seed is a cornerstone of many herbal protocols. Hot flashes, inflamed prostate, constipation, dry skin, arthritic pain, hormonal imbalance -- Flax seed's got it going on! My recipe is an amalgamation of 3 or 4 recipes that happen to be in the cookbooks I own.

Homemade Granola
3 cups Oats
1 cup Oat bran
2 cups puffed Millet
1 cup Pumpkin seeds
1 cup Pecans or Walnuts
1 cup dried Cranberries
1 cup Flax seed
1 cup Sunflower seed
3/4 cup shredded Coconut (optional)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown or white sugar (optional)
1 TBS vanilla

Set aside the Pumpkin seed, Flax seed, and brown (or white) sugar. Heat damages their oils and the sugar is added after baking to help with crunchiness. Mix all the seeds, nuts, and grains in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil, honey, salt and vanilla. Pour the liquid mix on to the dry mix and toss well to coat. Spread on two cookie sheets and bake 35 minutes at 325­°F, mixing ingredients 2 or 3 times during baking. Add Pumpkin and Flax for the last 5 minutes of baking. When done, sprinkle with sugar and toss. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in air tight jars. Keeps for a couple of weeks in the pantry, a couple of months in the freezer. Addictive.
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