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Maple Hazelnut Granola

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    Who doesn’t love receiving from-scratch granola? Dried cherries, hazelnuts, and cacao nibs give this version a luxurious appeal and show recipients you truly care about helping them start the day in a healthy way.

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    3 cups (750 mL) rolled oats
    1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, coarsely chopped
    1/3 cup (80 mL) hemp hearts
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cardamom
    1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade
    1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut oil, melted
    2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (180 mL) unsweetened coconut flakes
    1/2 cup (125 mL) hazelnuts, halved
    3/4 cup (180 mL) dried cherries or dried cranberries
    1/4 cup (60 mL) cacao nibs
    Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).

    In large bowl, toss together oats, walnuts, hemp hearts, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. In separate bowl, stir together maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add maple syrup mixture to oats and stir until everything is moist.

    Turn mixture out onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread out into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes; remove pan from oven and stir in coconut flakes and hazelnuts. Return to oven and bake until granola is fragrant and golden, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Be careful that the oats don’t burn. Stir in dried cherries and cacao nibs. Let cool completely and then divide among wide-mouth jars.

    Makes enough for 3 to 4 gifts.

    Each 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving contains: 384 calories; 6 g protein; 17 g total fat (13 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (13 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 103 mg sodium

    source: "Love Bites", alive #386, December 2014

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    Maple Hazelnut Granola

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    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.