Orange-Scented Cranberry Cacao Granola
Orange-scented cranberry cacao granola is a breakfast that feels decadent, but is actually good for you! So easy to make. Yet, unlike commercial granolas, it’s light on fat and sugar, and packed with good nutrition.
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, with busy modern lifestyles, it easily becomes an afterthought.
It’s often easier to grab a box of cereal, a breakfast bar, or a muffin at a local coffee shop, than to prepare a homemade breakfast. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. With a little forethought and planning, you too can knock out healthy breakfasts in the time it takes to prepare a bowl of cereal.
As my husband and I use our diet to improve our health, I’ve developed a few recipes to keep breakfast on track. Make-ahead items that are packed with good nutrition, yet quick and easy enough to get on the table on a busy weekday are key. This orange-scented cranberry cacao granola is one such dish.
Personally, I like to layer my granola with fresh fruit and coconut yogurt for a quick, weekday parfait. However, you could also eat it with milk, like a breakfast cereal or take a small jar to the office to stir into a pot of yogurt. Whichever way you serve orange-scented cranberry cacao granola, it will do your body good. It will also nourish your heart and circulatory system.
Heart Healthy Granola?
Yes indeed. Orange-scented cranberry cacao granola is packed with ingredients specifically chosen to make your heart smile. Below is an overview of just a few of these heart-healthy ingredients.
Raw Cacao Nibs
Cacao, which is the name for raw cocoa, contains over 1,500 active chemicals which positively affect our health. However, I’ve included it in this recipe because of its specific impact on the cardiovascular system. Cacao is a rich source of magnesium, which helps keep our blood pressure healthy and supports a healthy heart rhythm.
Cacao is also very high in antioxidants called flavonoids. Scientific studies have shown that people whose diets are rich in flavonoids have lower rates of heart disease. If you are interested in learning more about the links between flavonoids and health, click here.
The humble flax seed is high in soluble fibre. Hence, the fibre binds to cholesterol and helps carry it out of the body before it enters the bloodstream.
In addition, flax seed is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy omega-3s, particularly ALA. Thus, it’s particularly good for the heart.
There has been significant scientific research into the benefits of ALA in the body. Notably, the science has demonstrated clear linkages between ALA consumption and reduced risk of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, amongst other things.
Flax seed is particularly bio-available to women, who absorb 2.5 times more of the healthy ALAs in flax seed than men. It is also an ingredient that helps decrease the symptoms of menopause or other hormonal imbalances.
You may not associate oranges with coronary health. However, the bioflavonoids in orange zest are known to protect your blood vessels. It has also been demonstrated to help lower bad cholesterol!
Sunflower seeds are packed with phytosterols, which actually block absorption of cholesterol by the gut and carry it out of the body.
In addition — like cacao — they are a rich source of magnesium, which along with linoleic acid, helps lower blood pressure. Scientific research backs up the correlation between consumption of linoleic acid and reduction in hypertension. With 10 grams of linloeic acid in every 29 grams of seeds, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of this healthy nutrient.
About the Recipe
Knowing just how healthy orange-scented cranberry granola is, you’ll be keen to whip up a batch. And, trust me, nothing could be easier to make! Better yet, the fragrance of this delicious granola baking in your oven is so intoxicating, you’ll want to make it often.
The only aspect of this recipe requiring a bit of attention is the baking. Ovens vary. So, I recommend preparing your first batch of granola at a time when you’ll be around to supervise your oven a bit, and following the baking directions closely. Do rotate and turn your oven trays when you stir the granola, every 10 minutes. Bake just until golden brown. Trust me, the results will be worth the effort!
Additionally, I highly recommend seeking out organic ingredients — particularly your orange! As you journey towards better health, the last thing you want is to inadvertently consume harmful chemicals and pesticides.
Aside from these two notes of caution, I hope you and your family enjoy this fragrant granola in the very best of health. Bon appétit!
Recipes Using Orange-Scented Cranberry Cacao Granola
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