Store-bought granola is often considered a health food, but the truth is that it is usually loaded with sugar as well as hydrogenated oils which we want to avoid. It is also often dry and bland. Making it homemade, however, makes a great breakfast or snack as you can control the amount of sweetener and add some truly heart-healthy ingredients like fiber and prebiotics like what is in this Maple Walnut Granola w/Prebiotics.
What are Prebiotics?
You’ve probably heard a lot about probiotics, but do you know what prebiotics are? Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut whereas prebiotics are a fiber that help the good bacteria grow. You can kind of consider it the fertilizer for your probiotics.
Probiotics are sensitive and can be affected by heat or bacteria. That is why it is important to always take your pro-biotic supplement with food, as it can not survive the stomach acid. It is also not a good idea to cook probiotics as the heat will destroy them. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not affected by bacteria or heat, which makes them a great addition to this Maple Walnut Granola.
Inulin is a fiber found in thousands of plants, the most present in chicory. Dietary fiber has been shown to improve digestive health as well as contribute to heart health. When mixed with water, inulin forms a gel which can relieve constipation and help keep you regular. This gel will also help you feel full as it expands in the stomach. Inulin also has the ability to absorb cholesterol, toxins, waste, and fat as it passes through the body.
Inulin can also be used as a substitute for sugar as it is naturally sweet and has a low glycemic level. I have had great success in baking gluten-free bread with it (recipe coming soon). You can also add it to your hot beverage as the heat does not affect it. It’s a good idea to add it slowly, as some people can be sensitive to it if they have a sensitivity to FODMAPS.
I’ve added just a tablespoon to my Maple Walnut Granola Recipe.