I’m not a morning person, and I can’t function properly until I’ve had coffee & breakfast. So the last thing I want to do in the morning is think about what I’m going to eat. Enter granola, the ideal breakfast.
For a long time I ate store bought granola. Then I realized that stuff is full of fat and sugar, so I switched to Kashi GoLean Crunch. So much protein and so little carbs! For years I ate Kashi with greek yogurt every morning for breakfast. Until I realized that all that wheat and lactose was the cause of me feeling miserable after lunch every day.
Now I’m making my own granola, but of course my mission was to make it as similar in nutrition content to Kashi as possible. I searched high and low for protein powder and settled on rice protein powder as the best option for my stomach (no whey, no beans, no other weird things). I’ve been using Nutribiotics Vanilla Protein Powder. It has a slightly chalky taste, and I would never drink it in a protein shake for that reason. But in granola, I find it to be fine.
I make this stuff on a weekly basis, and please don’t ask me any questions before I’ve consumed a bowl of it.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups puffed rice
- 2 cups cup puffed millet or more rice
- ¼–½ cup nuts: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are some of my favorites
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa, millet, or amaranth optional
- ¼ cup cacao nibs optional
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds or chia seeds optional
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon optional
- 1 teaspoon ginger and/or nutmeg optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon finely ground or instant coffee optional
- ½–¾ cup protein powder (I use nutribiotics vanilla rice powder)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Optional: Spread oats, quinoa, & any nuts (if not already toasted) on a baking sheet. Toast for 15–20 minutes, or until lightly brown and fragrant. (I usually do this bit while my oven is heating up, and they're toasted just as the oven has reached 350.)
Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients (oats, puffed rice & millet, and any add-ins) in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine maple syrup, sugar, & water. Microwave for about 20–30 seconds. Add peanut butter and whisk until incorporated. Add spices, vanilla, and salt.
Gradually add in protein powder, ¼ cup at a time. Whisk after each addition.
Pour liquids into dry ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly combined. You may find that you need to add a few more tablespoons of water if it has trouble coming together.
Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Stir the granola with a spoon and put it back in the oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is crisp (for another 20 minutes total).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, break any large pieces and store in airtight container. The granola will keep for 2 weeks, if you don't eat it before then!
My favorite combination is 1/2 old-fashioned oats and 1/2 quick oats, but the recipe is fine with just one or the other.
You can use any combination of the optional add-ins, or make up your own. I avoid nuts, but some people are fine with them in small quantities. Sunflower seeds are also a good option. Cacao nibs are optional but highly recommended if you like chocolate.
I find puffed rice and millet at my local health foods store (Arrowhead Mills & Nature's Path both make versions). If you don't have access to that, you can always use Rice Krispies, just keep in mind that you will be adding sugar. I'd recommend reducing the total amount of sugar in the recipe in this case.
I've found peanut butter to be essential for cutting the chalky taste of the protein powder, mentioned above.
If you don't have protein powder, or you're not concerned about the amount of protein powder in your diet, feel free to omit. You may need to decrease the amount of liquid.
My taste-tester has declared that the granola is best when I put coffee grounds in it. So it's technically optional, but highly recommended.
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