Granola is one of those packaged foods that has been touted as "healthy" by the food industry. Most granolas contain oats which are high in fiber, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants and other important nutrients. However, most are also jam-packed with unhealthy industrial seed oils and high levels of sugar in the forms of cane sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and even natural sugars like agave, honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
Granola can be highly addictive, with most people eating way too much of it in one sitting, particularly because of all of these added sugars.
When granola is balanced out with a combination of plenty of healthy fats, fiber and a small amount of sugar, it's going to give you that sweetness you're looking for, but will also give you a big nutrient bang and will keep your blood sugar stable.
My chunky granola:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg white, whipped with a fork
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon maca (optional)
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 300 F. Mix the olive oil, maple and vanilla in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the egg white. Pour the wet over the dry ingredients and gently combine everything together until every piece is coated. Pour egg white over mixture and combine.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Lay out the granola into one large rectangular bar, about a 1/2 inch thick. Cook for about 20 minutes and then very gently turn the chunks over, without stirring (this will break up your amazing chunks). Cook for another 20 minutes or until the granola is golden brown.
When ready, turn the heat off and let the granola cool in the oven (this will give you even chunkier granola). Store in a container in the fridge for up to two weeks.