I’ve been to my fair share of sporting events. I rarely see kids eating granola and that always surprises me.
Granola is one of the all-inclusive nutrient-rich foods for athletes, which is why I created my own granola recipe.
Sometimes, the most inappropriate foods are used as rewards and as fuel for young athletes.
As an author, I took advantage to rant and go on about revamping the sporting food environment in my sports nutrition book for young athletes, Eat Like a Champion, as well as in my online program for young athletes of the same name.
In this article, you’ll get an easy, stove-top granola recipe and understand how granola can be a welcome addition to the foods your young athlete consumes.
Food is Fuel for Growing Athletes
My philosophy is a food first for growing kids, and athletes are no exception. Given the busy, time-pressed environment of sports, I have needed some go-to food items to ensure my own athletes were getting top-notch nutrition for competition and training.
This granola recipe is one I have used over the years to package up and store in my child’s duffle.
Granola is an excellent fuel source. It’s stuffed with slow-digesting carbs from oats and raisins.
Protein and healthy fats are highlighted in the nuts and seed additions.
And other essential nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, and iron naturally show up based on quality ingredients.
This granola recipe will fuel your young athlete. I’ve done a granola bar review and have outlined some nutrition guidelines to keep in mind when choosing granola bars for your child.
One thing is certain, it gives a quick energy boost when kids are playing sports.
A handful of this mix is not only tasty, but it offers up some stellar nutrition for the young athlete.
Protein Repairs and Builds Muscle
If you want to hear more about protein, I interviewed three protein researchers on my podcast:
How to Make Game Day Granola
I’ve taken the basic granola recipe from my book and added peanuts, coconut and chocolate chips for this irresistible Game Day Granola.
If your young athlete can’t have nuts, no problem! Just substitute in some sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.
This is a chewy, buttery granola.
As such, you can serve it “as is” in clusters, or press it into an 8 x 8” pan and cut into granola squares.
Any way you serve it, your young athlete (or non-athlete) will love it!
Prevent Burning Granola
Confession: I’ve been known to burn granola in the oven, so I like to make mine on the stovetop. I find it faster, and it saves energy!
Forget about heating up a big oven, turning large, bulky pans, or watching constantly to make sure your labor of love doesn’t burn (that’s where I usually mess things up!).
Stovetop granola is faster and easier, in my opinion. I do this when I make my stove-top croutons, too.
How to Eat Granola
Of course, you can eat this granola recipe by the handful. I do this as I’m making it!
Additionally, granola is great on top of or layered into yogurt. I enjoy it on top of cottage cheese with fruit like berries.
Sometimes we add granola to regular cereal to add a boost of flavor and nutrients. Or, just serve it as a cereal itself with milk.
Game Day Granola Recipe
The first 7 ingredients constitute my basic granola recipe.
Add in whatever you like—change the nuts, stir in dried fruit, or seeds.
It’s pretty adaptable!
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring
- a pinch of Kosher salt
- ¼ cup peanuts
- ¼ cup flaked coconut
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, toast oats for 10-15 minutes, or until light brown and crispy.
- Add sugar, honey, cinnamon, butter flavoring, and salt, stirring to coat the oats. (Note: If you have a gas stove, lower the heat. If you have an electric stove, remove the skillet from the burner while adding these ingredients.)
- Place the skillet back on low heat to ensure oats are coated and sugar is melted, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes; granola will start to brown and bubble up.
- Remove from the heat and place granola on a cookie sheet to cool.
- Once cool, add peanuts, coconut and chocolate chips.
- Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to a week. (It won’t last that long, guaranteed!)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 337 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 71mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 27g Protein: 5g
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: November 11, 2015
Updated on: June 20, 2019