On my quest to find healthier sugar-free snacks I’ve run into difficulties. Just when I think I’ve found something to munch on like a decent sugar-free protein bar, I read the label and discover it has some form of “ose” in it e.g. fructose, sucrose etc. Then I spy some really delicious looking sugar-free gluten-free cookies in the health food section of Krogers. I get them home and YUK to the thousandth degree, they taste like recycled pressed saw dust with a dab of paste thrown in for good measure. Besides good taste I want a snack that is crunchy and chewy. In this age of modern technology why….I say why….can’t scientists come up with something that satisfies my simple basic requirements? This isn’t rocket science after all…or is it?
Well, leave it up to a mom to come up with a healthy snack that has both good nutrition and good taste.
My daughter, “Farmer Woman”, is somewhat of an enigma to me. She oversees the daily management of Providence Farm, which includes feeding and caring for four goats, 1 llama, 8 laying hens, 1 rooster, 20 meat chickens, 2 growing boys and one handsome husband. Oh yes, and did I mention she grows her own vegetables, makes her own goat cheese, slaughters and dresses out her own meat chickens, home schools her children…well, you get the idea. And by the way, she does it all in her size 6 skinny jeans, stylish hair do and pink lipstick. After all, she is my daughter. But I digress. Back to resolving my snack attack issue.
I first tasted the delectable snack I’m about to share with you in my daughter’s kitchen when I stopped by for a visit a couple of weeks ago. First of all, the kitchen smelled heavenly and I felt my mouth start to water the moment I entered the room. I knew something that smelled that good just had to taste delicious. Wiping the drool from my chin (good practice for when I’m in the home) she whipped out the recipe and said sweetly, “Here Mom you can make it yourself. It’s so easy.” As I read the directions my eyes began to roll back in my head. What in the world is Xitol or Liquid Vanilla Cream Stevia? And, oh my goodness, how does one soak their nuts? (We’re all sweet Christian ladies, so no snickering please) I’m happy to say that Farmer Lady took pity on me and drove me to a galaxy far, far away called the Red Mill Natural Food Store where she helped me identify and purchase the necessary ingredients for the best granola snack this side of heaven.
Apple Cinnamon Granola (no sugar, grain, dairy or guilt)
2 cups of walnuts(Okay, thrill seekers if you really want to go all out “Granola Woman”, you can soak your nuts overnight and toast them in the oven. To learn how and why to do this go to Kathleen.peterro.com and click on “Crispy Nuts” in the right hand box. If this is too much to think about, just add raw nuts and be done with it.)
2 cups of almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 cup unsweetened dried chopped apples(or any of your favorite dried fruits. Read label to make sure they’re unsweetened)
- 20 drops liquid vanilla creme Stevia
- 1/4 cup Xylitol (this is a natural sweetener with 40% fewer calories and 75% less carb intake than processed sugar)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 tbsp. chai seed meal(put chai seeds in the coffee grinder or blender and grind into a meal. If this is just too much mother earth stuff for you to handle leave them out. But you risk takers aught to take a shot at this ingredient because my understanding is these little seeds are loaded with good nutrition)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. sea salt
Mix all ingredients together including nuts and spread on a couple of cookie sheets. Place in a 120 degree oven for 3 1/2 hours stirring periodically (my oven’s lowest temperature is 170 degrees so that’s what I had to go with. I guess the lower the temp the more nutritive value stays in the granola…hey I’m a novice at this health game so I’m doin’ the best I can with what I’ve got)
After baking remove pan from oven and let granola cool. Then place it in a large zip lock bag or Tupperware container. For some of you who are still eating sugarie treats this may not seem like a big deal but for those of us who really need to stay off sweets this stuff is divine. I put it in little plastic bag and slip it in my purse along with a bottle of water (I have a big purse) and voila! I’ve got an instant yummie satisfying snack.
OR FOR A DELECTABLE HEALTHY AFTER DINNER DESSERT TRY THIS: