One of my favourite ingredients is oats. Oatmeal cookies, baked oatmeal, granola bars, porridge... the list goes on. Oats are a great source of protein and fibre. There are approximately 12 grams of protein in one cup of oats. Fibre is necessary in every diet for keeping bowel movements regular. Oats also help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. They can give you a boost of energy and help you feel fuller longer. They are such a great thing to eat before heading to class or rehearsal. And apparently, oats help reduce the risk of childhood asthma. I'm not too sure on that one but I'm interested to look into it more as I developed asthma in my preteen years. Guess I should have eaten more oats!
How do you like to eat your oats?
My peanut butter granola bars are one of my favourite ways to eat oats. They're such a great snack to have on the go. I've been eating them all week! http://cookingfordancers.blogspot.ca/2013/12/snack-time.html
Another favourite is crunchy granola. I love sprinkling it in my yogurt with berries, or sometimes just eating it with a bit of milk. I've even eaten it straight out of the jar. So yummy.
Making your own granola is easy and only requires a few ingredients. It's one of those recipes where you can just put in the ingredients that you have in your cupboard. The only necessary ingredients are oats, honey, and oil. All the others can be made up with what you currently have in your house.
Preheat oven 300F
2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup seeds
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil is a great option)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl with a wooden spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Make sure to stir the mixture around once or twice so it toasts evenly.
Remove from oven and let cool. Once it cools it will get the crunchy texture we all love about granola.
Store in a mason jar or air tight container. It will last at least 2 weeks.
Also note, adding that pinch of salt really adds an extra flavour to the granola. If you like to put dried fruit in your granola, like raisins or chopped apricots, add them after it comes out of the oven.
I don't normally put nuts in mine as I work with a lot of children and I like to take yogurt and granola for a snack. So I usually just add more seeds and sometimes I'll add a bit of shredded coconut after it comes out of the oven. In this particular batch I put in 1/2 sunflower seeds and 1/4 sesame seeds and chia seeds combined.
Happy weekend everyone!
Remember, a healthy mind and body equals a happy and healthy dancer.