Thursday, April 03, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - Core Granola

First, a little bit of background. In order to balance out my love of food and drink, I also do Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has two eating plans, Core and Flex. In 2004, I lost 30 pounds using the Flex plan.

Flex allows you to have any food you like but within a certain number of Points per day, based on your height, weight, and several other factors. Points are calculated using the calories, fat, and fiber in a serving of food. In addition to those daily Points, you get 35 weekly points to use as you'd like for extra things.

Core is the Weight Watcher "no count" plan. As long as you eat from a specific list of foods, you don't have to count the Points. If you want something that's not on the list, you can use the 35 weekly points. With Core, you eat until you are satisfied - not full or stuffed - just no longer hungry. It can take a little bit of time to learn where that "Comfort Zone" is but by eating mindfully and paying attention to your body's signals, it can be done.

While I used Flex to get to my goal weight, I did it by eating a lot of overly processed foods. The frozen meals, cereal bars, and other not-so-healthy foods were a means to an end; i.e., lose fat/weight. I was hungry much of the time because I wasn't eating real foods or getting enough protein or meeting many of Weight Watcher Good Health Guidelines.

What I love about Core is that it, mostly, focuses on real, healthy foods - whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy products, and healthy oils. Note: This is not a complete list nor does it list some of the restrictions; that would be infringing on WW copyright. I still have those "extra Points" for wine, martinis, and carrot cake.

For this post, I wanted to share my recipe for granola. It is adapted, as most of my recipes are, from a combination of other recipes.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 c. cream of wheat
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

Mix together and add

1 cup SF syrup, any flavor (I've been doing a half-cup of Davinci sugar-free hazelnut and a half-cup of sugar-free vanilla)

Mix well, spread into a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with a healthy oil (I use canola) and bake at 275 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes of so. It's done when the granola is crunchy and dry, but be careful not to burn it.

Cool well. Divided into six one-cup servings, each counts as half a dairy serving.
Oooh! Look! Pictures!

I just picked up some sugar-free cinnamon syrup and will be trying it next.

My dear friend, Kay, at Gobstruck is blogging about eating clean and focusing on whole foods these days. Be sure to check out her blog.


Sgt said...

Do I negate the "zero" by using those flavored cream of wheat packets I get for the kids?


Ima Wurdibitsch said...

Are you doing Weight Watchers, SGT?

If so, you can just count the points for the non-Core ingredient.

Anonymous said...

That sounds good, Ima. Think I could add some raisins or other dried fruit? (I know those aren't Core; I do Flex, so it's ok) Who would have thought to get dairy in through granola??

Anonymous said...

I lost about 40kg by eating healthy. Cutting back on chocolate (back, not out), eating more fruit & veg, switching to brown rice and pasta, and eating subway instead of Maccas.

But its more than that. You get used to eating these healthy, tasty foods and before long the though of eatin Macca's more than once a month actually turns your stomach.

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

HearMe, I think raisins or other dried fruit would be excellent in it. I would probably not add them until the very end, though (last stirring cycle or after it comes out of the oven). I've been considering adding some almonds to mine for added protein or dried cranberries for that tartness but I haven't run either through the Recipe Builder yet. I may try to do that today and update the post to include Points.

I think you have to do it like that, Bitchtasm - the cutting back, not out. I know that as soon as I tell myself I can't have something, it's what I crave. With the eating healthy, I've experienced what you mentioned. Before Weight Watchers, I used to eat Wendy's and Taco Bell (fast food places - do you have them on your half of the world?) at least twice a week. Now, most fried food makes me really queasy. I can still have it if I really want it but I significantly limit my quantities.

Anonymous said...

The big man wanted granola and I told him that I would make yours. After making a *serious* face at the fact that the dried milk is WAAAAAAAY out of date he bucked up and tried it after it came out of the oven. Wow, is he a happy camper!

Only issue is the man eats a LOT of granola. A LOT. I have a feeling that I'll be making this at least once a week. He's had 4 bowls in two days......

Thanks for the recipe!