Grabbing a bagel on the go might be convenient, but it doesn't have the nutrient power you should be getting from your breakfast. To really fuel up in the mornings and give your body the essential nutrients it needs — without the bad sugars and fats — try this walnut ginger granola from Mindy Kobrin, founder of acclaimed cooking and entertaining site MealsOnHeelsByMindy.com. It also makes for a great mid-day snack.
The walnuts and oil — whether you choose sunflower, safflower or canola — provide omega-3s, which protect against heart disease and possibly stroke; boost energy; and fight depression. Additionally, the fiber in the oats will help keep you feeling satiated throughout the morning.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups raw walnuts, chopped (can substitute with fresh pecans or almonds)
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup sunflower, safflower or canola oil
½ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
2 egg whites, whipped until light and frothy
1 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine oats, chopped nuts, ground ginger and sea salt in a large bowl. Toss well with hands or silicone spatula until ingredients are mixed. Pour oil into the bowl. Pour agave nectar into the bowl. Mix well with spatula until ingredients are incorporated.
Add whipped egg whites to bowl and toss mixture to coat.
Spread granola onto a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Make sure to toss granola every 8 to 10 minutes during the baking process to evenly cook.
Remove from oven and sprinkle crystallized ginger over the hot granola. Stir quickly; then allow granola to cool completely for several hours. Store in a clear airtight container for easy and protein-packed snack. (Add other seeds for tasty fun like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds — both packed with great nutrients!)