I love learning and for the last three years my focus has been to absorb everything I can about nutrition and fitness. As my knowledge base has grown, I've come to understand the value of preparing as much of my own food as possible with less reliance on processed foods.
Why avoid processed foods? Much of the processed food available contains ingredients that aren't nutritionally beneficial for us. In a previous blog, Sneaky Sugar, I wrote about the many foods that contain added sugars, including products like granola, salad dressing, and tomato sauce, to name a few. In addition to added sugars, many products also contain unhealthy fats, among other ingredients that can lead to increased health risks.
How does one make the transition to relying less on processed foods? I've found meal prepping to be essential to my success in consistently eating healthy and whole foods and less processed foods. I meal prep every weekend for the coming week and continually change up what I prepare in order to keep things fresh and of course, nutritionally sound. In addition to meal prepping lunches and dinners, I've started to meal prep other items, like granola. Why granola? Granola is one of those foods that sounds healthy, but when you dive into the ingredients, you will notice all kinds of added sugars and other ingredients that make granola rather unhealthy.
It's taken several months, a lot of experimenting, and a fair amount of oats to make a granola that was first and foremost tasty and of course, healthy. And perhaps the best part of this recipe — it contains just five ingredients. Easy peasy. I feel better about eating granola each day knowing exactly what the ingredients are and that it's healthier then the products available at the grocery store. I enjoy topping my Siggi's 4% plain yogurt with my homemade granola and fresh berries.
Ingredients: 5 3/4 cups steel cut oats
3 egg whites
3 TB honey or maple syrup
3 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 TB EVOO
Optional: nuts, dried fruit, flaxseed, seeds, vanilla extract
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 325° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients together well. Pour mixture onto the parchment paper and bake for about 25 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 20-25 mins. Remove the pan from the oven and let the granola cool down. Store in an air tight container for about 7 days. BONUS: Your house will smell quite delightful while the granola is baking.
Got questions about meal prepping? Or how to read a nutrition label? I've got answers!
Check out this weeks move of the week: TRX Single Leg Deadlift with Knee Up on BOSU Ball