Thursday, January 7, 2010

Protect your brain with this granola recipe and start the new year out right

I recently read a book called Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children, by Carol Simontacchi. This book is an amazing and scary read. says "according to [author and] certified clinical nutritionist Carol Simontacci, the food industries that give us packaged, processed, artifically flavored, chemical-ridden, artifically colored, nutrient-stripped psuedo foods such as sodas, processed soups, sugared cereals, and fiberless bread 'wontonly destroy our bodies and our brains, all in the name of profit.' We Americans (adults and children) eat 200 pounds of sugar and artificial sweeteners each year ... The reason, according to the author, is that we're starving our brains with lack of nutrition."

Not only does this contribute to obesity, but it also causes mood swings, depression, violent behavior, ADD/ADHD and anxiety, among many other things. If you have a New Year's Resolution to eat healthier, or if you have an unexplained health issue, you might want to pick up a copy of this book. It may lead to an "ah-ha!" moment for you and start you on the path to wellness.

Thankfully, the author does not just leave the reader hanging with the scary statistics. She also offers up some healthful recipes that are heavy on flavor and nutrition and low in sugar and artificial anything. One of my favorites is a homemade granola recipe to help fill the nutritional void that many of us experience.

I've personally made this more than several times. It's great for breakfast with a little bit of rice milk or as an afternoon snack.

Granola with Fruit and Nuts:
4c rolled oats
2c oat bran
1c raw sesame seeds
2c raw sunflower seeds
1c unsweetened coconut flakes
1c almonds, chopped
1c walnuts, chopped
1c raisins
1c dried apricots, diced
1c dried papaya or figs, diced
1/2c olive oil
1/4c honey

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large roasting pan, mix together the oats and oat bran, seeds, flakes and nuts. Over a low flame, heat the oil and honey together until the mixture is very thin and easily poured. Drizzle the oil and honey mixture over the dry ingredients, mixing constantly, until all the pieces are coated evenly. Bake the granola, stirring thoroughly every 15 minutes or so, until lightly browned, 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the fruit. When the granola is baked and cooled slightly, mix the fruit with the granola and stir thoroughly to mix. After the granola is completely cooled, store in food storage bags or plastic containers in the refrigerator.

Photo courtesy of

No comments: