First, an apology, it has been several months since I've shared any recipes on this blog. I have a lot to learn about how to blog in a way that gets any attention in the space as the internet is saturated with blogs and awesome recipes. Yes, SEO visibility novice here. But aside from all of that, this recipe rocks.
This is my answer to granola and it's grain-free granola. It's also sugar-free with added superfood ingredients. In recent years I've had to admit/accept that regular toasted oat granola doesn't really work for me and my digestive system. Yes, those days of shopping for/sampling granola from the bulk bins in my college years are over... But the good news is that using lighter ingredients that are easier to digest can still yield a delicious and satisfying granola. The best part is that in addition to it tasting great, it also feels good in the tummy and doesn't create digestive regret later -and that's a huge plus because, as I know all too well, when we aren't able to digest out food well, we waste a lot of energy and time trying to do so.
A note about the sweetener: for this recipe I use balsamic vinegar as a sweetener. This may be a new idea for some of you. Using balsamic vinegar as a sweetener was new to me until several years ago when I was introduced to a high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar store here in the Bay Area called Amphora Nueva. If you're local, I recommend going to the store and learning about their products (I'm not getting paid for their endorsement :-). If you're not local to the Bay Area, you can find high quality balsamic vinegars in good health food stores, gourmet outfits and specialty olive oil/balsamic shops. The difference is that real balsamic vinegar is a fermented food, so it is probiotic-rich. This makes it beneficial for our bodies and actually helps us to digest our food. Real balsamic also doesn't have added sweeteners and fake coloring like a lot of low quality versions do. Balsamic is also low on the glycemic index which makes it a good, and possibly even beneficial, choice for diabetics and people who need to watch their sugar intake and sugar levels overall. And that's most of us.
One more recipe detail: I've added maca root powder. Maca root is a powerful superfood and especially beneficial as a hormone balancer for women. Maca is an adaptogen which means it will work to balance the imbalances in your body. It supports production of all the feel good hormones (think good mood and being "in the mood") and overall energy. Of course the quantity in the recipe is not a therapeutic dose, but still has some effect. To learn more about maca check out this blog: https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-benefits-of-maca-root-for-women/
So, if you struggle with digesting heartier oats and other grains, or find regular granola too sweet or loaded with sweeteners that send your body on a blood sugar surge and crash, then this recipe might just be for you too. Happy Eating!
GRAIN-FREE SUPERFOOD GRANOLA (Coconut Pecan Sesame Crunch)
2 c coconut flakes
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c sesame seeds
1 T balsamic vinegar (I used a cinnamon pear flavored balsamic)
Generous pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp maca powder
Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Place coconut, pecans and sesame in a small bowl. Mix ingredients.
Pour balsamic over coconut mix and toss to coat ingredients as evenly as possible. (You May need to add one more drizzle of balsamic. )
Add salt, cinnamon, and maca powder - toss to combine. Taste mix to see if salt/sweet/spice balance tastes right to you. Adjust if desired.
Spread mix evenly on parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 7-9 minutes. (Time may need to be adjusted based on your oven temp, just watch then you don't burn the beautiful granola :-))
Remove tray from oven and allow to cook 5-10 minutes before eating. Coconut will crisp up during the cooling process.
Store in glass jar at room temperature up to 1 week.