Vanilla Seed High-Protein Granola (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

So, as I've mentioned I'm basically outdoors all summer for my job on the river, and I have had a protein shake most mornings since. Since cutting back on animal products— this Bob's Red Mill protein powder is vegan—I've been careful to diversify where I get my protein from, sometimes chickpeas, sometimes nuts and seeds, and a lot of the time it's shakes. 

I was a little worried to bake with this powder because it has probiotics in it and I worry that the heat is damaging to them, and I love that they're included in here, because I think health begins in the gut. That's not an original idea, it was Hippocrates who said, "all disease begins in the gut." At any rate, I love drinking this is as just a plain shake with some almond milk because of the high probiotic content, and the pre-biotic fiber, because keeping my digestion healthy has been no small feat running around eating anything and everything that is available to me. No joke, I'm hungry all of the time. I need all the snacks, which is how I decided to make granola because eating plain pumpkin and sunflower seeds all day can get old. This protein powder is pretty sweet on it's own, on account of the monk fruit. I still decided to add the agave nectar to get the pieces to stick together nicely in this grain-free granola, just keep in mind it'll come out very sweet and vanilla-y, not that that's a bad thing, but just an FYI. 

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup agave nectar - you can sub honey, or maple syrup as well

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder (there's even a coupon)

2 Tablespoons of flax seeds

1 Tablespoon of hot water 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon extract - you can sub lemon zest also

Directions: 

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large bowl mix together agave nectar, protein powder, and salt until well blended 

In a separate, small container mix in hot water with flax seed, let sit for 1-2 minutes (this helps it to gel) 

Add all remaining ingredients including flax seed and mix until thoroughly combined, it should be pretty sticky at this point

Place mix directly on a baking sheet, spreading carefully to keep larger pieces together. 

Bake for 15 minutes stirring very well half way through

Bake until golden brown adding on in 5 minutes intervals until it's reached the desired crunchiness for your taste.  

 

I really wish I had more edited mountain shots for you but for right now I just have these flowers. They'll have to do. Enjoy your summer, and here's $3 off of Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Boosters

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.