07 Oct 2015
High Protein Granola Recipe
A nutritious breakfast for triathletes
This is a great and well balanced granola recipe that is much more nutritious than a shop bought alternative. It can also be personalised so you don’t have to pick out the gross currents!
Shop bought muesli that has no added sugar can, in my option taste like dust. The tastier versions can be a little sparse on the really good stuff (fruit, nuts and seeds) to save money, and have a ridiculous amount of added sugar! I’ve found making it myself allows me to add what I want and also have a sweeter tasting cereal without anything like the number of calories from simple carbohydrates (basically sugar).
If you’re triathlete, then you’ll be burning plenty of carbohydrates, not only during your session but throughout the day (as your metabolism will have risen). You’ll also undoubtedly have damaged some muscle cells that will need to be repaired. This means you’ll need some good quality complex carbohydrates as well as protein.
If you’ve been getting your heart rate up then you’ll also need some high quality fats as cardiac muscle likes to burn lipid. Not to mention all the good fat soluble vitamins your get by eating seeds and nuts. So some good nut and seed oils need to make up a good part of your breakfast.
Nuts, seed and fruit are all a plants way of storing nutrition to grow a seedling at a later date. If they contain the correct balance of nutrients to grow a plant from nothing but the carbon dioxide in the air, then they are most definitely good for your muscle cells and a welcome addition to your granola recipe.
Protein is also an appetite suppressant so packing your granola full on good things will help you to stay full and not snack on simple sugars throughout the day.
Not that I’ve got anything against simple sugars.; they taste great and give you an instant energy boost, which you also need in the morning. They should just be in combination with complex sugars (starch etc). Its all about balance.
I’m all about easy recipes – especially if you are going to make them regularly so I’ve broken this granola recipe down into fractions of the tin you will use to bake it. I use a large roasting tin and fill it about 4 cm deep.
Granola Recipe Ingredients:
Jumbo rolled oats: To cover 1 quarter of your roasting tin (about 3-4 cm deep)
Mixed nuts (of your choice): To cover 1 quarter of your roasting tin
Mixed seeds (of choice): To cover 1 quarter of your roasting tin
Desiccated coconut: To cover the remaining quarter of your roasting tin
Flavourless oil such as sunflower oil or cold pressed coconut oil: 3 tablespoons
Honey: 3 tablespoons
Ready to eat dried apricots: One large handful
Chopped dates: One handful
Cranberries: One handful
Golden raisins: One handful.
Granola Recipe Method:
Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius.
- Tip your ingredients into the roasting tin in the proportions mentioned above.
- Mix well with your hands
- Put the honey and oil of your choice (sunflower or coconut are good choices) into a small pan and heat gently until blended well and a good runny consistency.
- Pour over your dry ingredient mix and distribute evenly with a spoon. The mixture will resemble a very dry flapjack like mix.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
- Take out and mix around so more of it gets toasted.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Add your chopped fruit and leave to cool.
Notes on ingredients:
Really, you can add whatever you want in the way of fruit, seeds and nuts. I can’t stand sultanas and currents so I leave them out. But they do have some great nutritional benefits. I’ve outlined what certain things do for you below so you can make an informed choice on what you add.
Brazils: 100g contains about 650 calories, most of which comes from lipid (lipid contains far more calories per unit weight than carbs). The lipids in brazils are mostly mono-unsaturated so help to keep cholesterol levels low. They are also packed full of non-gluten proteins so great if you’re trying to stick to a non – or low gluten diet. They contain a lot of fat soluble. vitamin E which you need to repair torn muscle cell membranes. There are also full of lots of other minerals which are powerful antioxidants (prevent cell damage) and co-enzymes (needed for your metabolic enzyme controlled reactions to work properly). They also bulk out the granola recipe.
Almonds (very similar to brazils!) Also have a good fibrous husk that will keep you full and provide more vitamins, so best to use unbalanced almonds.
Peanuts: about 550 calories per 100g. They have many of the lipid health benefits on the above nuts, but also include many amino acids which you need for protein (muscle) repair. Interestingly, the antioxidant levels in peanuts go up when they are roasted (also their delicious rating!). Again, packed with B vitamins and minerals.
Cashews: Very similar in nutrient content to peanuts and a similar calorie value, however, they are extremely high in minerals such as manganese, copper, iron and zinc. All of which you will need if you are training hard. When you sweat you don’t just lose water, you lose mineral salts too, so at the very least you are replacing these, as well as providing antioxidants and co-factors for enzyme activity (basically making your metabolic reactions happen quicker so speeding up recovery).
Pumpkin seeds: Similar to most nuts pumpkin seeds are full of vitamins and minerals, however, they are also very high in protein and provide a large quantity of the amino acids you need to repair muscle cells. Two such amino acids are important in making the neurotransmitters serotonin (which amongst other things helps you to sleep – so even better recovery) and GABA which helps to stress and anxiety (can’t be bad right?).
Sunflower seeds: Again, very similar to pumpkin seeds but also contain chromogenic acid which helps to maintain good blood sugar levels by limiting the amount of glycogen (the animal storage carbohydrate – so the human version of starch in a plant) broken down in the liver. This will help you to use your slow release energy from the oats.
Linseeds and sesame seeds: These will help you to feel full but go straight through your digestive system so none of the good stuff inside them actually goes into your blood!
I just add the fruit that I like. Dried fruit (especially crystallised fruit which has sugar added) can be quite sweet so you probably won’t want more fruit that nuts. This keeps things pretty well balanced.
The granola recipe can be jazzed up by some dried figs, as well as crystallised or dried pineapple. Dried mango and apple are also readily available and are good to add. It’s quite easy to go overboard with fruit which will make the calorie content very high so I keep it to 3 good sized handfuls.
Whether it’s the morning of your triathlon or you’re just looking for a great tasting breakfast, this granola recipe may be just what you’re looking for.