Having one of those days? Tired, overwhelmed... Looking for a pick me up snack, or maybe a bowl of cereal for comfort? I know that's how I feel. I used to love cereal as a kid. If my mom would let me, I probably would eat cereal all day. And not anything healthy either...more like marshmallow cereal, or fruity something with a bunch of dyes and sugar. Oh to be a kid and have no concept of how sugar affects your body! Now, I crave a good amount of protein and hearty whole grains when I am searching for a cereal pick-me-up. And I could buy a gluten-free box of whole grain cereal for over 5 dollars at the store, but then again, that seems like a luxury sort of buy. So, why not make something yummy to add to a 2-3 dollar box of gluten-free plain cereal to get an added boost of protein and flavor. Or, if you are like me...enjoy your homemade cereal like it has been made to fit into the 5 dollar box.
This may seem like a repetitive recipe, but it is something new that I have been enjoying all week. It is pretty similar to any granola recipe, but because of the liquid coconut oil and agave nectar the oats soak up the good moisture and then when they bake turn into a nice crunchy, not really chewy cereal that is perfect for pouring milk on . And the almonds add the perfect crunchy bite that will have you searching for them at the bottom of your bowl. Almonds are no marshmallow surprise in your cereal, but you are a grown-up... you better have an upgrade from the special charm of a marshmallow. It will hit the spot too! Leave you feeling nourished and full for hours. Almonds and coconut have that kind of affect on your appetite and metabolism. They fill you up where you need to be sustained. Some almond experts even say that if you eat 7 almonds (at a time, or a day) that will suppress your appetite as needed and so you eat less and loose more calories in the process. And don't get me started with coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat oil. It has many healing properties for external and internal use. Many women especially could benefit from the good essential fats that may help regulate hormones and make the body's natural rhythms run more smooth. There's always all this hype about fat and how it is bad for you, but in reality we do need a certain percentage of healthy fats in our bodies for them to think, run smoothly and have energy. Coconut oil and fat is one of those non-dairy kind of fats that you can count on for health.Yes, it may seem scary to you to eat the dreaded saturated fats, but I would challenge you to dig deeper into the healing benefits of the beloved oil. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and has been shown to help people actually loose weight because of the medium-chain-fatty-acids found in it's make up. It has been found to be beneficial also to digestive healing and metabolism boosting, and overall a benefit to heart and immune health because of the high doses of anti-oxidants and microbial properties. If you want to read more about the oil, check out the highlighted sentences to lead your to some linked articles with more info. So, with all of that said about healthy coconut oil and how adding more almonds to your diet is never a bad thing, I share this very easy and simple recipe with you to boost your love for a granola/cereal snack. So, friends, here we go:
Coconut Almond Granola Cereal Recipe
3 heaping cups of gluten-free rolled oats
2 cups of raw almonds (or pieces would work too)
2 cups of raw coconut flakes
1/2 cup of raw agave nectar
1/2 cup of extra virgin organic coconut oil
1 TB of pure vanilla
1 TB of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of sea salt
Mix all of these simple ingredients together well, and then pour out on a 11x14 baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until it turns golden brown, then pull form the oven and stir with a wooden spoon to unearth the bottoms of the cereal, then add back tot he oven for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure to watch closely to not burn or get too brown. Every oven is different with moisture levels, so just make sure to keep an eye on it. When it is a nicely tossed all over golden brown, pull from the oven and let cool for one hour before moving into a container. You could let this cool for hours and hours if you want to get it even crunchier, but after an hour or so it is cool enough to bag. Break it up with a spoon or utensil so that has a nice tossed texture and is easily added to other cereals, or can be a perfect bowl of cereal or topped over ice cream or yogurt. Note: The amounts of all the ingredients in this simple cereal could easily be adjusted to your liking. I kept all dried fruit out of it to make a sure cereal without added fruit moisture.
There, wasn't that the simplest recipe ever. It turns out so good, I promise. And a perfect addition to any snack of yogurt, ice cream or bowl of cereal. I hope you enjoy and keep it simple today. Remember eating healthy with a busy lifestyle means keeping it simple with real foods and just having a plan in place so that you are not running to the vending machine at 3pm for a coke and candy bar. Take care of that body of yours, it's worth it! You are worth it!