Nuts and seeds provide a lot of great nutrition in our diets, mostly fats and some protein. Pumpkin seeds, for example, are more than 30% protein. Seeds are a great source of healthy fats. More than 80% of this fat is from polyunsaturated fats, the essential fatty acids, and oil-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. Seeds are also rich in minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Nuts also have good-quality protein, but are even higher in fats than seeds. Because of this, they are not a food that should be eaten in abundance unless you are trying to gain weight. Despite their high fat content, they are among the best vegetable foods in terms of nutrient richness. Their fat content is mostly unsaturated fats (with the exception of coconut meat, which is rich in saturated fats), essential fatty acids, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Many people have trouble digesting nuts because of their high fat content, especially if you have low stomach acid or gallbladder issues. If you have these issues, its likely that you have difficulty digesting other kinds of fats as well. To improve one's digestion of fats, I suggest juicing and drinking celery juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning (to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach), and supplementing with a fat-digesting enzyme (lipases).
This Maple Cinnamon granola is so delicious, it will be hard to eat in small amounts! I try to limit myself to no more than a half cup a day. I should mention that I am one of those people who has trouble digesting fats, however, if you do not have these issues, then feel free to eat a little bit more.
2 cups of large coconut flakes
2 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of alcohol-free vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut flakes, oats, pepitas, almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, salt and cinnamon and stir to combine.
In a small glass bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave (usually 30 seconds or less). Remove from microwave and add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Give it a quick stir, and pour over the nut and seeds mixture in the large mixing bowl. Stir well, until the nuts and seeds are covered in the oil and syrup. Pour onto the baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the coconut flakes begin to turn golden brown.
You can eat this straight as a snack, add to coconut or almond yogurt, or stuff a baked sweet potato with it (as pictured). Enjoy!