I know what they say about American cereal being bad for you, and in many cases it's true. But in my world, cereal has always been a health food by definition. And in the beginning, it really was. "Granula" was first invented in 1894 by a doctor in New York, the name later changed to granola by Kellogg's. Store-bought granola is expensive and can also be sugary, so I've been making my own for years. A small bowl of homemade granola with some fruit and yogurt is one of my all-time favorite snacks.
I came across this recipe on a tiny piece of paper folded inside Ruth's box. I added a few trendy ingredients like chia seeds and flax seeds and substituted my beloved Massachusetts maple syrup for the honey. I succeeded in eating a batch practically single handedly. What appeals to me most is the crunch of the buckwheat and the absence of spices. This actually allows the taste of each ingredient to shine through.
From a health perspective, I am attracted to foods like chia seeds and buckwheat groats that act like super heroes in my body. Honestly, I get a bit lost in the science of all the amazing things they do for the capillaries or how they increase "microcirculation." That's all terrific but I'm content just knowing that it's taking care of me. I only have one body after all.
It's hard to keep up with nutrition fads and trends. The information changes too often to sway with it. What's good for you one week isn't good for you the next. When I find foods like this that are a nutritionist's dream, I quickly incorporate them into my meals without a second thought. Then I help myself to another guilt-free handful.
Good Shepherd Cereal
Makes 10 cups
Feel free to adapt this recipe by using the nuts and dried fruits that you love. This stores well at room temperature for several weeks in an airtight container. Great with milk or yogurt, or even as a topping for ice-cream.
3 cups organic whole rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup currants or raisins
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then pour in the olive oil and maple syrup and stir to moisten all the ingredients evenly. Spread this onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Remove from oven and cool, then stir in currants or raisins if using.