Granola tastes so good, but all those calories can be hard for weight loss. One cup of store-bought granola adds up to 500 calories easily. On a 1500-calorie diet, you're a third of the way there already! Learn simple ways to make your homemade granola calories more friendly.
Is granola a good thing to add to your weight-loss calorie plan? Here's how you can make the switch to a healthier granola habit
Often touted as health food, many packaged granolas contain so much fat, sugar, and calories that you might as well eat a candy bar. On the other hand, when enjoyed in moderation, healthy homemade granola is an excellent source of fiber, iron, healthy fat, and protein.
How to keep your homemade granola calories down and nutrient content up
Your house will smell amazing while your fresh granola bakes and you can control your homemade granola calories, fat, and sugar content by choosing healthy ingredients.
Wheat germ - Loaded with B vitamins, iron, zinc, and vitamin E. During the processing of white flour, this rich part of the wheat kernel is tossed out. You can benefit from this highly nutritious part of the wheat kernel by including wheat germ in your granola.
Non-fat dry milk - Add to your granola to increase protein and other key nutrients.
Olive oil - High in heart-healthy omega-three fatty acids.
Oats - Choose old-fashioned oats, which are higher in fiber and B vitamins compared to instant or quick-cooking oats.
Flaxseed - High in fiber (just 2 tablespoons contain roughly 4 grams of fiber) and omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed also contains 800 times the phytochemicals found in other seeds.
Chia seeds - As part of a healthy diet, chia seeds can help decrease triglycerides, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Nuts and seeds - High in protein and healthy fats. From magnesium to zinc, different nuts and seeds are high in vitamins and minerals.
Good-for-You Granola (Premium recipe)
As a rule of thumb, remember the ratio of 6 to one. In making homemade granola, use 6 cups of dry ingredients, such as oatmeal, nuts, and dried fruit to one cup of wet ingredients, such as oil and honey. This recipe is flexible and easy to modify based on your taste preferences. This is one of over 700 dietitian-approved recipes available with the MyNetDiary Premium membership. To add this recipe to your food diary, type in "Good for You Granola." It is already entered and analyzed for you.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
7 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flaxseed
1 cup chopped walnuts (or other favorite nuts)
1 cup canola or olive oil (or other healthy oil)
1 cup honey
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit, e.g., cherries, dates, etc.)
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Add oil and honey and mix well.
Spread mixture in an even layer on two sheet cake pans or jelly roll pans (16" x 24" x 3").
Bake for 45-60 minutes until lightly browned. After first 30 minutes, stir granola and switch pans in oven.
When cool, stir in the raisins.
Store in airtight containers.
1/2 cup = 278 calories, 14g fat, 34g carbs (5g fiber), 6g protein
1/4 cup = 139 calories, 7g fat, 17g carbs (2.5g fiber), 3g protein
Note: If you are trying to gain weight, choose a generous portion of granola filled with nutritious ingredients rather than soda, chips, or candy.
Tips to help granola work for your weight-loss plan
Think smaller portion size to add some nutrition and crunch.
Use granola as a light topping for other healthy foods. Make a granola parfait in a bowl with Greek yogurt, antioxidant-rich berries, and a few tablespoons of granola over the top for crunchiness.
Sprinkle a tablespoon on a salad featuring dark, leafy greens, fresh fruit, and cheese.
Make a granola-oatmeal mix. Mix together 1/2 cup of granola and 1/2 cup of old-fashioned dry oats. Oatmeal, by itself, is low in calories and high in fiber. By "diluting" your granola with healthy, old-fashioned oats, you can increase the fiber and lower the total calories.