This big-batch of lamb sausage gets its full-blast flavor from lots of aromatic herbs and garlic.
Coconut Macadamia Granola
Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo
When I began this journey towards optimal health, I knew my breakfast routine needed a makeover. I knew I could do better, especially in terms of packing in more nutrition and thyroid-love. I figured, if this is how I’m going to start the day, there’s a lot of potential to make a difference in my health.
I spent a frosty Saturday morning working on a thyroid-supportive re-make of a favorite granola recipe, luxuriating in the warmth and smell of toasting coconut wafting from the oven. Coconut oil upped the flavor and the nutrition content, as well as chia seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Nutrition aside, this granola also has a major yum factor. It turned out crispy and toasty-golden, with just the right balance of sweet, nutty, and salty. Now, I have granola for days, a healthy edible gift option, and a gluten-free breakfast that does more than fill my belly.
A COUPLE GRANOLA MAKING TIPS:
A low oven temperature is key in making granola that is both toasted and crisp, as opposed to tough and chewy. When determining the perfect degree of doneness look at the color. Granola will be sticky even when it comes out of the oven but will dry out and crisp as it cools. To avoid bitter flavors, do not over-bake. I recommend a fresh tropical fruit to complement this recipe (like bananas or mangoes). Finally, plain non-dairy yogurt is a better partner than sweetened yogurt for this honey-kissed granola.
Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:
- Chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber, and 18% DV of calcium per ounce. They are rich in Omega-3s and antioxidants and, unlike flax seeds, they have a long shelf life and don’t need to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.
- Sesame seeds are a good source of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper and Manganese.
- An ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 19% DV for Zinc. Zinc deficiency has been linked to thyroid disease.
- Macadamia nuts are a source of selenium – a key nutrient for thyroid function. It also helps reduce inflammation. Macadamias also contain vitamin E, calcium, monounsaturated fat, fiber, manganese, and other trace minerals.
- Oats, as long as they are processed on equipment that does not process other gluten-containing grains, are naturally gluten-free.
- Coconut oil has been touted for potential benefits to thyroid health, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and even weight loss. It is high in healthy fats, lauric acid, and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
Coconut Macadamia Granola
MAKES 10 CUPS
- 4 c rolled oats, (certified gluten-free)
- 2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 c sliced almonds
- 1 c chopped macadamia nuts, roasted, unsalted (or salted and adjust salt)
- 1 c pumpkin seeds, unsalted
- 1/2 c sesame seeds, preferably raw, unhulled* (see notes)
- 1/2 c chia seeds
- 1/2 c unrefined coconut oil, 105 g
- 1/2 c honey, 170 g
- 1/2 c maple syrup, 170 g
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt, or to taste
Arrange two oven racks in center and lower third of oven and preheat to 275 F. Grease 2 large rimmed baking sheets with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl combine first 8 (dry) ingredients and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine coconut oil, honey, syrup, and spices. Place over medium flame and heat, stirring, just until coconut oil is melted and mixture is runny.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in sea salt and toss again.
- Spread granola evenly on baking sheets and place in oven. Bake 1 hour, stirring granola and alternating sheet pans every 15 minutes for even baking. Do not overbake.
Set aside to cool. Granola will lose its stickiness as it cools.
Store in an airtight container. Granola will keep for several weeks.
- To boost the protein, Omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, and phenolic acids, you can replace the sesame seeds with hulled hemp seeds, aka hemp nuggets.
- Homemade granola makes a great gift. Decorate some paper coffee bean-type bags, fill, fold closed, and voilá.