Granola is NOT A HEALTH FOOD: It’s Dessert. I still Made It.
January 14, 2021
There is no way that granola is a health food. This is probably one of the great myths that has partially worsened our obesity epidemic. Growing up as an immigrant kid, I thought granola was healthy and it was American. Granola bars are ubiquitous especially with their plastic wrappings. I’m not saying that granola is not a perfectly fine food to eat, but it’s really a dessert. It should be used as a topping on oatmeal, or as a rare treat on top of something healthier.
I was inspired by my Instagram friend @lowwastejoy who was one of the first Instagram environmental friends I made years ago. We’ve never met, but there is a back and forth in the Instagram community that is real. Every time she posts something, I think it looks like a great idea. I think maybe because I know she is Asian as well, and maybe our thought processes through some kind of shared cultural experience and trying to be eco-minded is similar? I’m not sure what it is, but I often think her ideas are great. She posted last night home-made granola and I had been looking for a new granola recipe. One that I got from a friend was too burnt and I did not like the spices. It looked pretty on Instagram and we ate most of it, but it was for me a fail. I realized it was too burnt and @lowwastejoy had a recipe that seemed more gooey which is more to my liking.
So I screenshotted her recipe, and kind of just modified it on my own. It’s 6AM right now and the kitchen is dark. Everyone is asleep. My father-in-law was up earlier boiling some water. I don’t know what he does in the early mornings with the boiling pot, but the blue glow of the gas stove and his quiet movements are very regular and soothing to me. But he is gone now and it’s just me. The kitchen smells really delicious because the granola I made is done. I haven’t really tried it yet because I am trying to kind of not eat too early. I have my normal cup of coffee in my Crimson Medical School mug and that is my routine.
Anyway back to granola. I’ve made granola now the third time, and if you actually make granola – it’s not a health food!!! We should eat a diverse diet which includes energy dense foods. But thinking of things as a health food tends to make kids overeat it. I saw my son once just down an entire bowl of granola which is very very very calorie dense. I had purchased it as a topping for oatmeal, but he ate it as quickly as anything. I stopped buying it as much. It was too fast and too sugary and too processed.
I still made granola this morning, and I think it’s going to be delicious. It smells delicious. Here is the recipe I used, which I just made up by modified my Instagram friend’s recipe.
Dr. Plastic Picker Granola Recipe #3 (Modified from Low Waste Joy)
- 3 cups of oats
- 1/2-3/4 stick of butter
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup of nuts (I used walnuts)
- 1 cup of honey (which low waste joy recommended but I kind of just drizzled it instead and eyeballed it)
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- sprinkled shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- I had cacoa tea which smells like chocolate so I did sprinkle a bit in, because why not???!!
Directions: mixed it all together, and put on silicone baking mat, in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
Anyway, going back to how granola is not a health food – there is a lot of butter and honey in it! She used coconut oil which I don’t have, but coconut oil is still an oil. If you don’t use butter than you use oil! That’s it. I did a lot of environmental work while I made the granola and finished this blogpost. If the granola turns out good, I’ll save some for the family and bring some to clinic. Its good to share the delicious homemade wonderful granola with everyone, but please remember it is NOT A HEALTH FOOD. It’s dessert. When it’s done I’m going to sprinkle some over a chopped overripe pear. Now pear, that is a health food.