Honey Nut Granola Recipe — a wholesome sports food

Posted on 09-03-2024 , by: Nancy Clark , in , , 0 Comments

This Honey Nut Granola recipe, found in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, is a nutritious and delicious sports food offering a balanced combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins. It can be eaten by the handful or added to yogurt, smoothies, or acai bowls.  It is a good option for a pre or post-workout snack. Enjoy it instead of commercial granola high in saturated fat and refined sugar.

Ingredients that help make this a good sports food include:
• healthy fats (from nuts, seeds, and canola oil) that contribute to satiety, long-lasting energy, and overall cardiovascular health.
• oats — a rich source of complex carbohydrates that offer sustained energy release to fuel workouts and replenish glycogen stores post-exercise.
• chopped dates — a combination of complex and simple carbohydrates for both immediate and sustained energy.
• honey — an easily digested simple carbohydrate that provides quick energy to the body and replenishes muscle glycogen stores, so you’ll be prepared to take on your next workout.
• dried milk, almonds, sesame seed, wheat germ, and ground flax meal—for essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed for muscle repair and growth.

Pairing granola + yogurt + fruit provides carbs + protein in roughly a 3:1 ratio (3 g carbohydrates to 1 g protein) that optimizes post-workout recovery by promoting muscle protein synthesis and glycogen repletion.
• yogurt adds protein and also probiotics (to support gut health and immune function).
• the combined proteins in yogurt, dried milk, oats, sesame seeds, and almonds offer leucine, a branched-chain amino acid known for stimulating muscle growth.
• antioxidant-rich fruits mitigate the negative effects of intense training.  For example, berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) help combat oxidative stress and preserve muscle strength. Blueberries, in particular, contain polyphenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and fatigue, further enhancing the recovery process.

Clearly, this granola is well-suited to support athletic performance and promote recovery!


  • 3 cups (240 g) rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
  • 1 cup (120 g) chopped almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup (115 g) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) dried fruit bits (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup (60 g) sesame seeds (untoasted), 1/2 cup (60 g) sunflower seeds (unsalted, untoasted), 1/2 cup (60 g) wheat germ, 1/2 cup (80 g) ground flaxseed meal

-In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and powdered milk (and salt, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, as desired).

-In a saucepan or microwavable bowl, combine the honey and oil. Heat until almost boiling. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir well.

–Spread the mixture onto two large baking sheets. Bake at 300 °F (150 °C) for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

–After the granola has cooled, add the dried fruit (and wheat germ and flaxseed meal, as desired). Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 10 half-cup servings

3,300 total calories; 330 calories per 1/2 cup; 40 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 14 g fat

Written by Guest blogger Jaelyn Angelo, a nutrition student at Simmons University and aspiring sports nutritionist.

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