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Chia & Oat Granola (with no refined sugar or ingredients!)

Chia seeds. These little seeds, about 1/10 the size of a piece of rice, are packed with omega-3s, ALA, protein, and fiber. The coolest thing about these little guys is they kind of “gel” when left in a liquid or liquid type substance. Imagine the inside of fresh aloe-but not so much slime. When you eat chia seeds that have “gelled,” they act like little scrubbers for your intestines! Also, unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not have to be ground up to release the oils.

My favorite way to eat chia seeds is in my yogurt! I stir a tablespoon or so in and let it sit a couple of minutes before I dig in! Another way is to my Chia & Oat Granola! Lose the sugar-laden granolas in the cereal aisle and make your own! It’s simple, not too sweet, and crunchy! I eat Chobani vanilla yogurt which already has a little sugar, but is sweetened with cane sugar not corn syrup-so, if you eat granola on plain yogurt, feel free to add a little more REAL maple syrup, honey, or agave.

Chia & Oat Granola
2 cups old fashion rolled oats (not instant, and use gluten free oats if needed)
5 TB Chia seeds
4 TB ground flax seeds
5 TB wheat bran (leave out for gluten free)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TB REAL organic maple syrup
2 TB creamy peanut butter (we buy the kind with only peanuts and salt. no sugar, no other oils)
1 TB coconut oil or other oil
Heat the maple syrup and peanut butter in the microwave 30seconds to 1minute. Just enough that the PB blends with the syrup. Pour in rest of ingredients. Oil a piece of foil with the coconut oil or other oil. Spread the granola on the baking sheet and bake at 375 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. 
*if you want to get fancy, add in 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa to the mix for a nice crunch and added protein!
Store it in a clean, clear spaghetti sauce jar and spray paint the lid gold. Ok, not necessary, a ziploc bag works great too!

My favorite snack to enjoy with the granola:

Fruit with Yogurt & Granola
1/2 apple, sliced (if making a dip-slice the apples for dipping, if making a parfait-chop them up)
Couple of TBs Chobani vanilla yogurt
1 TB peanut butter
A sprinkle of cinnamon for blood sugar lowering power!
Stir the yogurt and vanilla together, top with granola and dip apple slices. OR build a parfait with chopped apples, bananas, or other fruit, layer with yogurt and PB mixture, and top it off with granola! Enjoy!

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