Who can say they don’t LOVE a crunchy granola with ice-cold milk? I know I certainly do. Granola and muesli is usually touted as a ‘healthy’ breakfast food on its packaging, and to an extent it probably is, but like most other packaged cereals it also has a high calorie and sugar content, which is, well, not so healthy. The frustration of this prompted me to create my own healthier version, which turned out to be so delicious it’s literally the first thing I think about eating when I wake up in the morning.
I’m sure you’ll love this homemade, high protein granola with fat burning ingredients as much as I do. The high protein content, along with other certain metabolism boosting foods helps to fire up your metabolism in the morning and keep it stoked for the rest of the day. Who knew food could do that? That’s why picking your ingredients wisely, whilst still keeping them tasty is the easiest and most painless way to not only boost weight loss, but also to keep your body healthy.
How Fat Burning Foods Work
There are certain foods that both boost your metabolism and help to keep your blood sugar stable, both of which are key elements in keeping the excess pounds at bay without having to do too much hard work. Adding these certain foods to ALL your meals as much as you can will really make a difference over time to your weight. That and plenty of physical exercise of course – which is another metabolism booster.
These amazing fat burning foods include the following:-
- Cacao nibs
- Nutritional Yeast
- Hemp Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Detoxifying Superfood Powders
- Whole grains
- Green Tea
- Coconut Oil
- Protein Powders
These foods are all high nutrients and antioxidants that are vital to health, vitality, your immune system, and are also anti aging. Most of them are known as nature’s superfoods (which is a name that refers to a group of foods higher in nutrition than any others), therefore a diet filled with these will make you a very healthy, happy bunny indeed.
Antioxidants and Fat Burning
Antioxidants help fight the free radical damage inflicted to your cells by certain environmental toxins such as exhaust fumes, industrial fumes, smoking, alcohol, junk foods, sugar, trans fats, pharmaceutical drugs (or drugs of any kind for that matter), and household chemicals, to name just a few.
Your body is hit by an onslaught of these all day, every day. There’s a lot for it to deal with all going through your system, and anything that doesn’t get (or cannot be) eliminated through detoxification ends up being stored for safe keeping in fat your cells. These cells will just keep swelling and swelling to accommodate these toxins and this process, along with too many junk foods, can eventually be a contributor to obesity. This is why lots antioxidants and detoxifying foods are absolutely VITAL to your health, and to a weight loss diet in general.
The Role of Highly Nutritious Foods
Eating an array of highly nutritious foods, along with a highly highly plant based eating plan will guarantee you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fire on all cylinders. Feeling fantastic, having plenty of energy and a strong immune system is just not possible without a balance of the right nutrients being eaten regularly.
And another awesome side effect of good nutrition is LESS CRAVINGS for the bad stuff. You crave junk foods and sugar when your body is out of balance and screaming out for nutrients, but once you have taken this problem out of the equation and you won’t be having those monstrous cravings that put paid to all your good intentions.
Although sugar isn’t actually physically addictive, it can feel like you actually need it when you get used to having it all the time due to the fact that it temporarily floods you with feel good endorphins and energy which, of course, may be phycologically addictive. Many of us have this kind of addiction going on due to the simple fact that modern foods are jam packed with the stuff – even so called savoury foods are often laced with refined sugars and sweeteners. If you go to your kitchen cupboard right now you will more than likely find dozens of hidden sugars in your foods and snacks that you didn’t even know were there.
Sugar can be disguised under so many different terms that it’s hard not to get into a faff about it all (see here for the other 50 names that sugar may be termed under in the food you eat). However, if you try to eat mostly ‘whole foods’ in their natural form like this delicious granola below, plus fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, organic tofu, nuts and seeds then you really can’t go wrong, and then you will no longer have to worry about pesky hidden sugars.
Protein and Fat Burning
Eating a lower carb, higher protein diet is always going to give you a fat burning edge, and is yet another great tip for keeping weight down and maintained. It’s also something that is so simple to do when you understand a few basic rules about protein rich foods and food combining in general.
Put simply, protein increases thermogenesis which is a metabolic process that causes your body to burn calories at an accelerated rate to produce heat. The more you can keep your body in this state, the more calories you will burn. Other factors that induce thermogenesis are the temperature of your environment and exercise.
Benefits of Eating a Protein Rich Breakfast
If you can begin your day with a high protein, antioxidant rich breakfast choc full of fat burning foods then you cannot give yourself a better start. This granola has ALL of these things and more and will help keep your blood sugar stable for hours, thus stopping cravings in their tracks.
It is also jam packed with healthy fats for brainpower, a healthy heart, and a glowing complexion. In fact, all the antioxidants and fats work together to boost each other even further, making this simple breakfast perfect for not only weight watchers but also for people studying, learning, and in training or exercise programs. Don’t forget this sort of food is great for the kids too as they are often doing a lot of these things (though you may want to chop the nuts and other elements up a bit smaller for them).
Benefits of Stable Blood Sugar
It’s so important to eat low GI foods as much as possible in order to keep your blood sugar more stable, and this doesn’t just apply to diabetics – it applies to everyone. Eating slow release carbs with fats and protein (like everything in this granola) will give you a ‘slow burn’ of energy. You won’t have an insulin surge like you would if you were to eat refined sugars on their own, which means your body will be encouraged to burn fat rather than store fat. Good eh?
How to Make this High Protein Granola
You can vary the nuts, seeds and fruits in this recipe if you really need to (although I have picked these certain ones because of their unique antioxidant and fat profiles), but I recommend you stick as close to the recipe as possible if you want all the benefits. Always stick to the main elements of coconut oil, oats and buckwheat grouts.
- 250 grams of buckwheat grouts (you can buy these in most supermarkets or health food stores). These are very important because they are a highly nutritious and full of protein and fiber. They are actually a seed not a grain, so are gluten free too. They are also an immune booster with a full array of B vitamins. You can just use these alone if you want a lower carb granola, or you don’t want to add oats – but oats do bulk it out.
- 250 grams of jumbo oats – Full of fiber, heart friendly, and beta glucens.
- 1 cup of chopped raw walnuts – High in vitamin E and omega 3’s; good for the brain, heart and memory.
- 2/3 cup of chopped raw almonds – High in magnesium, help lower cholesterol, fat burning.
- 1/3 cup of chopped raw Brazil nuts – Selenium for mood, high in iron and calcium.
- 1 cup of coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup of milled chia powder – Omega 3’s, fiber, calcium, antioxidants.
- 1 cup of chopped dates – Anti inflammatory, bone health, phosphorus, vitamin K.
- 2/3 cup of sultanas – Iron, potassium, antioxidants.
- 15 x chopped unsulphured apricots – Vitamin A, good for the blood, bones and skin.
- Goji berries (optional, but taste great) – Powerful anti aging superfood.
- 1 x heaped tablespoon of ceylon cinnamon powder (to help with lowering blood sugar for the whole day).
- 2 x teaspoons of ginger powder – Anti inflammatory, digestive aid.
- 2/3 cup of cacao nibs – Flavenols, antioxidants, magnesium.
- 4 x tablespoons of virgin coconut oil – Fat burning, can help control blood sugar alongside a low sugar diet.
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, then add two large baking trays with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in each of them to melt.
- Mix the buckwheat grouts and jumbo oats together; add in equal amounts to the pans and mix into the oil.
- Bake for about 15 mins, take out and give another mix, then return and bake for a further 10 or so minutes until going slightly brown or golden. You want a nutty effect, but not burnt.
- Take out, leave to cool, then simply add in all the other ingredients and mix well. It’s important you keep all the other ingredients in their raw state as this will keep the nutritious oils and antioxidants stable – you want this to be a virtually ‘raw’ breakfast as pure raw foods just give you more energy in general.
- Next, store in a large mason jar or other airtight container and it will keep for weeks (probably longer, but mine never hangs about that long).
You can eat this granola for breakfast, lunch, or even a snack any time of the day by adding a cold sugar free plant milk, preferably organic soy for even more protein (when it comes to soy products I don’t eat too much, and also I would only go for organic as unorganic is notorious for being GMO). I like to add extra fresh fruit and berries on top to get even more goodness in, and as luck would have it berries are especially beneficial to fat burning too.
This breakfast is also awesome mixed with coconut yoghurt and chopped apple.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you too enjoy this fantastically healthy granola as much as I do. Please let me know what you think in the comments section. Do you know of any way this recipe can be improved? Your input is always very welcome and appreciated.
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