Honestly, Extreme conditions sometimes call for extreme measures. So we've loaded up the boat to move to Beverly. Actually Mr. Garden is helping me eat this one. It would simply float my boat if I ate the whole thing.
What the heck is it you ask? Well Pammy has been making homemade granola. Only this granola is special and specific for aiding in my own natural hormone replacement therapy.. Yes, it is here! Menopause!! Or is it still pre-menopause? Which ever it is, it is time to begin therapy to say the least.
It is very true that between foods, herbs and exercise we can handle this stage of the game totally natural and be healthier for it. I cannot see the benefits of HRT that has endangered and caused greater health risks to women all over the country.
I'll talk about the herbs later, but it is the food we are beginning our therapy with because diet is the best place to start. I had read several articles with recipes for this thing called a menopause cake. Hahaha!!! My first response!! I also read how each ingredient used in the recipe is beneficial to the health and well being of a women going through menopause. Much of the ingredients is included to actually help relieve symptoms and increase phytoestrogens . But as I read the cake recipes and how they were put together all I could say was gross!! It's simply bad enough going through this thing without eating something nasty like that!! Ewwww
So what I set out to do was create something along the same lines only totally yummy! As I love granola, this seemed to be the best choice by far. You must study and read about foods that help with menopause first. So please read this article to begin with here.
Yes, I know that it looks a bit like birdseed, but what I've discovered is the main two ingredients that need to be increased in the diet is Soy and Flax seed. I will wait until this summer when I am growing my own non-gmo organic soybeans before I add this part to my diet. But the Flax seed we can do! Also pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, steel cut oats and dried fruits are all very doable right now. All organic and pretty much trustworthy. Some I've saved from my own garden, which is always a comfort.
The sugar substitutes was hard for me because Guava Nectar is suppose to be the best, but I didn't have any on hand. What I did use though was pure organic maple syrup and just a tiny bit of brown sugar. The key is to eliminate as much sugar out of the diet. Sugar is bad for menopause because it messes up the liver's ability to metabolize estrogen and impairs the immune system. So is saturated fats, but I did use organic unsalted butter. I will have to experiment a bit with oils. Perhaps even divide that amount of butter with organic coconut oil which has worked great in other recipes I've done.
Ingredients for Granola
2 cup Steel Cut Oats
1/2 cup Flax seed (I used whole, but you can grind it a bit first)
1 cup Walnuts, whole
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used golden raisins, cranberries and currents)
100% Cacao for topping
Liquid Ingredients and Spices
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup organic pure maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, except for the cacao.
2. In a medium saucepan heat all the liquid ingredients and spices until everything melts together. Do not bring to a boil.
3. Add the ingredients from the saucepan to the dry mixture and combine really good.
4. Line a 9x11 baking dish with foil or parchment paper and grease it with a little butter or oil.
5. Pour your mixture into the baking dish and top with cacao sprinkles. Press down on mixture with a slightly buttered spatula to make it firm.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350
7. Remove from over and let cool for about 30 to 45 minutes.
8. Cover and refrigerate
For the Menopausal Granola Split I first placed the granola in the dish. You will have to break it into pieces after it has been in the refrigerator. Split one banana and place a slice on each side of the dish. Add a few dollops of fresh organic yogurt. Add fresh or frozen organic berries to top it off. I used Blueberries and Pomegranates.
Happy Gardening And Enjoy Natural Hormone Therapy!