Heart Healthy Granola with Plant Sterols

Heart healthy granola full of plant sterols  and antioxidants.

heart healthy granolaGranola is one of those foods that should be healthy. After all, most of us were introduced to granola as a health food. But then granola became an everyday item, a victim of its own success. You know once something starts popping up on grocery shelves packaged in boxes that most of the healthy ingredients have been removed or delegated to a lesser role.

The reason is simple. If a product is to be shelf-stable for a year or two, you certainly can’t make it with olive oil or walnut oil, or any of the other high antioxidant (thus healthy) oils. It needs a stable oil that isn’t going to go rancid in a few weeks. Something like palm oil, or trans-fats.

Boxed granola is also full of sugar. Why? Because we like sugar! We are easily addicted to sugar. And when we are addicted to something we want more of it. I don’t mean to sound so cynical, but this approach of giving the customer what they want, in this case a sweet granola that will last forever, takes a healthy product and turns it into a candy bar. I love granola. But if I want a candy bar, and all of the sugar that goes with it, I purchase a candy bar, not granola.

I like my granola to be healthy, tasty, and not super sweet. With few exceptions, that means I make it at home. You can too, and it takes hardly any time.

This recipe is full of heart healthy antioxidants and plant sterols. I will be writing more about plant sterols later this week, but in the meantime you may want to check out this previous post: How to Lower Your Genetically High Cholesterol Level – Step Two

Heart Healthy Granola with Plant Sterols
Heart healthy, crunchy, and full of flavor, this granola is sure to become a family favorite.
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup rolled barley flakes
  • 1 cup rolled rye flakes
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ tsp each ground mace and ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped, dried apples
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. In a large bowl combine oats, barley, rye, pumpkin seeds, salt, and spices.
  2. Add maple syrup and olive oil.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Spread mixture out on a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking.
  6. Remove from oven. Stir in apples, cranberries and pecans.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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