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My Dragon Necklace

I’ve been eating yogurt with granola just about every morning for the last 2 weeks. It occurred to me this morning that I really don’t know what goes into the granola I buy at the store. Shouldn’t be that bad, right? After all it’s granola.

          CalorieCount.about.com gives granola 597 calories per cup and a B+ by their standards. The DailyPlate gives it about 598 per cup.  Wendy’s yogurt with granola is 250 calories. Calorie King gives and other 598 for one cup of granola and I found a page of calories listed for a bunch of granola bars at Fitbit.com.

          That’s all fine and dandy. Calorie intake is an important thing. We need it to fuel our bodies. We need a minimum not to go into starvation mode and we need less than a maximum not to start gaining weight.

          I’m no expert. I,like you, have to hit the web to find out what my appropriate caloric intake is. (The Daily Plate and other such sites have these tools.)

          But you know, I’m not just concerned with just calories anymore. I used to worry about them, fat levels, carb levels and so forth. I think those are all worthy weight loss worries, but what I really, really want to start doing now is paying attention to all of the other stuff that is in my store bought granola.

          I mean what really, really goes into it? To tell you the truth I have no idea. I just did a search and came up with nothing on Nature Valley Granola Bar ingredients, Quaker or any of the granola cereals I buy. I don’t even know what’s in the granola I pick up at Trader Joes.

          I do know one thing. Most of the things I buy at the store have more stuff in than it should. Turkey for instance, bought and made at home has 0 carbs. Look at a package of any packaged turkey meat and you will find it suddenly has them. This surprises me because it’s not like it’s been coated in some marinade. It’s suppose to be just turkey.

          Every thing we buy that isn’t in it’s natural state has the potential to carry a lot of unneeded chemicals from spoil retardants, to color enhancers, to ingredients that make things less lumpy when they naturally are. They also seem to be higher in fat, higher in sugars and higher in every thing that it doesn’t need to have to taste good. It’s just there to cater to the masses roving eye (It looks fresh, it keeps, I like the color, etc.)

          I don’t think we can exactly get away from the processed world. I know there are some things I’d rather buy than make, but if I can make it and it’s easy, why not? Why not lessen the impact of processed foods in my culinary world. Not to mention gaining the ability to control my calories and lose weight at the same time? Maybe if I start in little baby steps it won’t seem so daunting later.

          Anyway, I’m going to start with granola. It’s super easy, super cheap, and the oats are good for me. I’ve been putting it into my body every day for several days so I’m thinking it’s worth the effort to make it as healthy for me as possible.

          So, below I nabbed a recipe. It’s simple and basic. I don’t see the need to get too fancy since I’m tossing it into yogurt. I’ll probably take a stab at making my own granola bars someday, but in truth I’m not the baking type. I specialize in main courses. Hopefully this recipe will be tons tasty. I’m going to try it with Stevia first, then maybe Splenda. Though, to tell you the truth I don’t care for Splenda in food. So far, it’s what sweetens my iced tea. I’d used Stevia, but the powdered Stevia I buy clumps in cold beverages. Anyway, here is the recipe. Enjoy it and if you come up with any cool variations let us know. I'll let you know what I get into as well. J  





  from COOKS.COM

4 c. quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 c. Grape Nuts cereal
Granulated sugar sub. equal to 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. chopped peanuts
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. raisins

Spread oats on ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients except wheat germ and raisins. Bake mixture on another baking sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring once to brown evenly. Cool in oven. Stir oats, wheat germ, and raisins into mixture. Refrigerate in jars or plastic containers. Yield: 6 1/2 cups.

Nutritive Note: Serving size = 1/4 cup. Diabetic exchange/serving: 1 starch, 1 fat. 140 cal; 15 g. cho; 5 g. pro; 7 g. fat; 57 mg. sodium..


  • I've trying like heck to switch all my sugars over to stevia, but though it works in some things -- made a decent cheesecake -- it's not so hot in drinks. I've actually switched to no sugar at all in my tea and coffee rather than go with the stevia.

    I think part of the problem in my case is that I'm hypo-glycemic (so fun, since my cousin is diabetic), so when I drink a stevia sweetened beverage, my insulin spikes and my blood sugar hits bottom. Whereas when I bake with it, there's foods -- cheese, nuts, etc. to give the insulin something to burn.

    Re: Granola.
    On the upside, most recipes make tons of the stuff. So if you can stand to do it, you're set for a while. You just gotta be careful not to burn it. I've burned more than one batch in my day. (I used to eat it, and gave it to my parrot as a snack).

    I'll have to try this stevia version, as mine always used honey.
    • I'm hypo-glycemic as well. I find that staying away from all extra sugar and caffeine helps that and eating plenty of protein. I eat protein first, veggies second and carbs last. Since I've kept my diet in order in regards to making sure I have enough protien, my sugar levels have relatively evened out. When I don't do that though, I have issues.

      I haven't had any issues with stevia other than the taste not going well with certain items or not dissolving completely in cold liquids. I do have a friend who is diabetic who has issues with splenda. It mucks with her insulin levels like stevia does with yours. I have no idea how to combat either.
  • Oh, re: the turkey question.

    I've done time working in various deli's and the difference is in the preservatives and "natural flavorings". My cousin recently read that they treat sliced meat with a cocktail of different things to keep them moist and tender, which sometimes includes sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

    Sadly, a lot of whole, raw turkeys are now adding these in too -- watch the label for "natural flavorings". Foster Farm is still clean though.

    • I thought it was something like that. Good to know that Foster Farms isn't doing that.
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