Vanilla Cinnamon Granola for DAYS

THIS GRANOLA RECIPE HAS BEEN TESTED, TRIED, FIDDLED WITH, AND PERFECTED OVER THE YEARS.

It has gotten to a point where I am convinced that nobody can resist a healthy bite (unless, you know, you hate cinnamon, vanilla, and/or are allergic to nuts or oats,) and it has a little backstory that shows what stress can do to your body.

Are you ready? Because, at the time, I wasn’t.

It was my senior year of college and I was holding my life together as best as I could. I had overloaded on classes so I could finally freakin’ graduate, and was still recovering from Anorexia and exercising like a fiend. Needless to say, I was not doing my best to care for my mental and physical health, and my stomach pains were worse than ever.

They started in my freshman year of college, or maybe before if I’m remembering correctly, and were annoying as all hell. Every time I ate food, I would be visited by stabbing stomach pains that could only be alleviated by sleep. I had asked several doctors about this phenomenon, and was told it was probably due to the Anorexia recovery. Was it? As I found out later, NO (well…not all of it.)

Hear that, doctors? You can’t just assume something without looking further into it.

I moved back to New York City, switched doctors for like the 30th time, and FINALLY I got somewhere. This particular doctor answered my exasperated, three paragraph email with a simple sentence: ‘Try a low FODMAP diet.’

So, I did my research.

Turns out, the low FODMAP diet is typically meant for those who suffer from IBS and it’s not super fun. I was tasked with the mission of avoiding some of my favorite vegetables, fruit, carbs…WINE (guess which one made me the most upset?) but, I started following the plan and it WORKED. I had, however, eaten granola every day for breakfast for at least two years. I wasn’t about to give that up, so I found a low FODMAP granola recipe.

The second I graduated, I started eating normally again, and my body was fine. Turns out, the amount of pressure I was putting on myself to maintain a 4.0 GPA and be perfect in every other way made me too stressed out to properly digest food.

That’s crazy, right? To this day, the ways stress can affect the body still astound me.

So, I developed this low FODMAP granola recipe into a regular, healthy, nut-filled granola recipe. It is no longer low FODMAP, but it is damn tasty and a healthy addition to your mornings.

Why did I tell you about all that low FODMAP nonsense if the recipe itself is not? Because I want you to ALWAYS PUT WELLNESS FIRST. We live in a society built on stress, and it can take away your favorite foods. Don’t give up your health because of it. And make the granola below! It makes enough to feed you for a week (I usually have about 2 large handfuls with almond milk and berries or a banana in the mornings <3.)

Best Granola Ever, Bishes

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees

Mix Together:

  • 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats

  • 2 cups sliced almonds

  • 1 cup pecan pieces

  • ½ cup peanut pieces

  • ¼ cup walnut pieces

  • ¼ cup sunflower (or pumpkin!) seeds

After that’s all mixed, add in:

  • ½ cup maple syrup

  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (or almond! Both work really well)

Mix together and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating your cookie sheet halfway through. Eat whenever the hell you want.

The great thing about this recipe is its versatility. If you want to replace a nut with another, go ahead! If you want to get rid of one nut altogether, that’s fine too. Add in some dried fruit! Have fun with it, and make it your own.