Friday, December 11, 2009

Health Magazine's Easy Granola

Making holiday sweets for my friends is something of a tradition for me, but one close friend, A., is diabetic. I don't want to interfere with her regimen by presenting her with sugary treats, so this year, I'm making her some granola. The oats, nuts, and seeds metabolize more slowly than straight white sugar and flour, so even though it is sweet (mine contains maple syrup, dark agave syrup, and dried fruit), it won't cause her blood sugar to spike.

I am a rabid recipe clipper and I found this granola recipe in Health magazine's October 2009 issue. It was contributed by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and you can get it here.

The beauty of granola is that no two batches are alike. This time, I put in walnuts, chopped almonds, and pecans. I also added sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds to the mix and a couple bags of mixed dried fruit. But you can use any fruits, nuts, and seeds you like. Pine nuts, hazelnuts, poppy seeds, raisins, dried apricots -- the sky is the limit and Jamie's recipe allows for improvising.

Granola isn't the only healthy sweet you can make for your loved ones. Bran muffins and banana bread made with whole wheat flour have also been a hit with my friends. And who wouldn't enjoy a gift card to Jamba Juice or Whole Foods? Have an oatmeal lover in your life? Make them a gift basket with a couple different kinds of oats (for example, steel cut and thick cut), a variety of sweeteners such as agave syrup and apple butter, and a sampling of exotic dried fruits. 'Healthy' and 'treat' don't have to be mutually exclusive terms!

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