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Peanut Butter and Chia Seed Granola Recipe
Most people have heard of Chia Pets, but many people don’t know that the Chia seeds themselves are loaded with fiber, calcium, protein, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as minerals, like phosphorous, manganese and zinc.
Chia Seeds Absorb Water
Chia seeds can absorb 10-12 times their weight in water. When this happens they form a gelatinous substance that calms the digestive tract. This also keeps the body hydrated, which helps retain electrolyte balance.
Add Chia Seeds to Foods
Most dietary experts agree that adding whole foods, like Chia seeds, instead of taking supplements, is best for maintaining essential nutrients in our diets. You can even add them to ordinary fruit drinks and water. They’re smaller than flax seed and don’t need any grinding.
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on yogurt, cereals, fruit smoothies and when baking breads. Or try this delicious and healthy granola snack:
Easy Peanut Butter and Chia Seed Granola Recipe
- 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. oats
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine peanut butter and honey in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 15-20 seconds). Stir.
- Add cinnamon and vanilla to peanut butter and honey mixture.
- Add oats and chia seeds. Stir until oats and chia seeds are covered completely.
- Spread mixture onto cookie sheet and bake for 7 – 8 minutes until granola is slightly browned.
- Allow granola to cool and become crunchy.
*You can vary this recipe by adding more Chia seeds, nuts, shredded coconut or your own personal favorites. You can also replace the creamy peanut butter with crunchy or chunky peanut butter.
A Little Bit About Granola
Granola dates back to 1894, when it was first introduced as Granula at the Jackson Sanitarium in Dansville, New York. Dr. James Caleb Jackson presented his Granula as a healthy cereal made from rolled oats and honey at his prominent health spa. Dr. Jackson’s health spa was also known as Our Home on the Hillside, because of the hills of Dansville. The granola was eventually sold and marketed as Our Home Granula Company. A similar cereal was later developed by John Harvey Kellogg, but in order to avoid legal issues the name was changed to Granola.
Granola and the Hippie Movement
The 1960s hippie movement saw a revival of granola. The addition of fruit and nuts made granola marketable as a popular health food. Many manufacturers today market their own versions of granola cereals, snacks and bars. The portability and natural goodness of granola make it a favorite for hikers, bikers and other active, sports-minded consumers.
Cut Down On Sugar By Making Your Own Granola
Granola is often misrepresented and misunderstood. Many health-conscious individuals and experts are quick to point to granola’s sometimes high sugar content. However, several manufacturers limit the amount of sugar added to granola cereals, snacks and bars. Checking labels carefully allows consumers to choose wisely.
Making your own granola has the added advantage of controlling the amount of sugar and other ingredients. Filling zip-lock bags with your own homemade granola provides a convenient snack to tuck in pockets, backpacks or lunch bags.