Embrace Your Inner Hippy Granola Veggie

November 06, 2013

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

As a form of vegetarian outreach and in an attempt to convert meat-eaters to plant-eaters, us veggies are eager to dispel myths about bland, vegetarian food. We’ve probably all said more than once in our lives “vegetarians don’t just eat granola and salad!”. The last Toronto Veg Blog post shows that plant-based food knows no limits and that certainly, granola and salad are no longer required fare for vegetarians.

AGranolanyone who knows me knows that I’m not shy about indulging in all the vegan versions of classic comfort food and sweet desserts that are abundant these days.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m vegan and yes, I love granola.

It’s quick to whip up in a bowl and pop in the oven, ready to bring along wherever and whenever the next day. It’s a great snack, or if you make one filled with enough nuts and seeds, it can even be filling enough for lunch with a side of fruit and veggies. It’s the perfect food to bring along on vacation, to snack on the plane, or to bring on hikes or other day trips where there may not be somewhere veg-friendly to stop for lunch.

Not only is it convenient, but oats are good for you in so many ways, packed with healthy carbs and fibre, and great at lowering the bad, LDL cholesterol. Depending on what you throw into your granola, a variety of nuts and seeds can add healthy fats, calcium and iron too.

And while I admit I’d be scared to tell a meat-eating friend or family member I had granola for lunch, the truth is there are so many innovative and decadent granola recipes out there that truly are anything but bland or dry.

Here are three of my favourite granola recipes. I highly suggest you give them a try, even if it’s in the closet.

Cinnamon Bun Granola from Tiny Treats: If you haven’t yet purchased a copy of the e-book Tiny Treats, this is the perfect excuse. The name Cinnamon Bun Granola does not lie. This recipe is sweet, gooey and delicious, and being sweetened by dates, it also gives you added energy! Click here to purchase your copy of Tiny Treats.

Nutty Seedy Granola Bars from jae steele: Ok, so the name of these ones sound exactly like the kind of granola we hide in our cupboards. But don’t be fooled: these granola bars are DECADENT and easily pass for a dessert or treat. jae describes them as “the best granola bars”, and I would agree. Click here for the recipe.

Peanut Butter Granola from The Kind Diet: This is probably the simplest granola recipe I’ve tried, yet it’s so delicious! How can five ingredients mashed up together be so tasty?! I personally like my granola to be a bit more textured, so when I make this recipe, I also throw in some hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and of course, a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips. Click here for the recipe.