an easy maple syrup-sweetened nut & seed granola
You might think this grain-free granola is a belated April Fool’s prank. When I first made it Virginia asked me if a recipe could even be called granola if it didn’t have oats. Rest assured there’s no joking around here. I was skeptical myself when I came across a package in the health food store some time ago, and actually thought the same thing Virginia said, shrugging off the idea.
My relationship with wheat and grains has been a tenuous one for a few years now (seven to be precise). I’ve had a variety of issues, mostly unconfirmed until recently. When a woman gets to a certain age, doctors tend to shrug everything off, throwing it into the menopause bucket. Being a widow and single mom of two for a long time was also a convenient excuse for doctors pointing to the stress in my life, but you just know when something doesn’t feel right in your body.
It comes down to luck of the draw and finding the right doctor that will listen to you, and run the bloodwork to help you understand what’s going on in your body. I’m in this part of the journey, and slowly getting some answers, though I still have to keep pushing. All doctors aren’t created equal, and there’s still much to learn about auto-immune diseases. What I know for sure is that I have Hashimoto’s at a subclinical phase. My TSH levels are right on the border of the acceptable range, so the typical medical response is “wait and see”.
Wait and see doesn’t do anything to solve my fatigue, aches, weight gain and underlying feeling of inflammation. Wait and see is perhaps the most dismissive response a doctor can give a patient who has been in chronic distress for seven years, and yet this is considered progress because it’s the first time my concerns were heard enough for anyone to run a full panel of bloodwork. I did leave the office and hand over a few more vials of blood for more tests to dig a little deeper.
One thing I intend to do while I wait and see is make some dietary modifications. I know from past experience that there’s some foods my body prefers over others. Oats are considered an anti-inflammatory food but if you’re already dealing with bloating, then there’s a good reason to try and avoid them, for me at least.
For anyone trying to avoid grains, be it out of choice or dietary concerns, this alternative to regular granola is delightful. I actually like it more than granola with oats since I was never a big fan of oats in the first place (not to be confused with oat flour, which I do use and seems to be fine).
Since I need to put so much more energy in figuring out what to eat, I wanted to make this recipe as easy as possible, hence the handful measurements. If you find this irksome, and must have more precise measurements, my handful is equal to a generous ¼ cup, but give the handfuls a try. Life is complicated. Shouldn’t making granola be easy?
That lingering splash of oil is exactly as it sounds. Instead of a quick flick of the wrist, let the oil slowly pour out, and as soon as the first bit touches the nut and seed mixture, pull your hand back and put the bottle away. I don’t have a precise measurement for that, and maybe that’s the underlying lesson here. We’ll never have all the answers to everything but it also doesn’t mean we should stop asking the questions.
Next week is Passover and smack in the middle comes Easter. If you’re doing menu planning and trying to figure out what to cook, there’s my spring holidays cookbook from last year. You can find it by clicking here, and if you’re not a paid subscriber yet, you can click here to join today and get full access to all recipes and e-cookbooks.
In case it’s not obvious, I do want to offer a disclaimer that I’m not trying to give anyone medical advice here. I’m just sharing my personal experiences. As for this grain-free granola, I enjoy it as I would regular granola–sprinkled over yogurt (I love the lemon elderflower Cocojune), in a bowl with oat or macadamia milk, and as a little snack when I’m feeling hungry and need a protein boost.
I hope the week ahead offers pockets of peace. Be well, and remember to be kind.
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