February is Heart Month and eating healthy is vital to a healthy heart. Heart disease is a major cause of disability and the leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer heart attack each year. Heart disease being the number one killer of American women, killing five to eight more women than breast cancer.
Eating granola on a regular basis along with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, may greatly reduce your risk or reverse heart disease and high blood pressure. Oatmeal is widely known for its soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol. It’s also a good source of complex carbohydrate, which prevents blood sugar spikes found in refine carbohydrates. It’s low in fat and a beneficial part of a weight loss plan. Oatmeal contains fiber, manganese, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc.
NB-For those who are allergic to gluten, please make sure you use gluten free oats or substitute with quinoa flakes or buckwheat flakes. What better way to start the day than with heart healthy and delicious granola? Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. This recipe has no added sugar or fats.
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup chopped almond
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1/4 cup pitted dates
- 3 bananas
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp vanilla flavoring
- 2 tsp almond flavoring
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups dried fruit sweetened cranberries, raisins or other dried fruits of choice.
Ready to bake
Preheat oven at 250 degrees. Mix rolled oats, coconut flakes, chopped almonds and sesame seeds in a large bowl and set aside. Place pitted dates with water in a saucepan and simmer to soften. Place dates plus water, bananas, vanilla, almond and salt in a blend; blend until smooth. Mix blended ingredients with dry. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 90 minutes until dry, stirring occasionally, or leave in oven on the lowest setting, around 170 degrees, over night. Stir in dried fruit, serve with your favorite non-dairy milk or fruit topping. Store cooled granola in a container with a tight fitting lid.