Since the original bakery, first opened in 1975, was transformed into the Bunnery Bakery and Restaurant five years later, our granola has been a breakfast mainstay. This granola recipe has changed little from that time. Based on rolled oats, with almonds, sesame and sunflower seeds to add flavorful crunch and a touch of honey and cloves to round it out, this simple granola blend provides an abundance of nutrition.
In traditional granola, oats are among the most healthful of grains. Beta-glucan, a fiber unique to oat products, has long been known to be a powerful agent in lowering serum cholesterol, thereby reducing risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. More recently, this remarkable fiber, abundant in our granola, has also been shown to enhance the immune system’s response to bacterial infection by enabling neutrophils, body’s defender cells, to locate the infection site more quickly and speed the healing process. In concert with magnesium, a mineral in which oats are rich, beta-glucan also regulates the body’s use of glucose and secretion of insulin, stabilizing blood sugar levels and dramatically reducing risk of type 2 diabetes.
Oats in our granola are also an excellent source of two antioxidants. A group of compounds called avenanthramides, found only in oat products and easily assimilated, are highly protective against LDL cholesterol damage from free radicals, and even more so when combined with vitamin C. Intact cholesterol molecules are unable to cling to artery walls, but once fractured by free radicals, the damaged molecules adhere to artery walls, the first stage leading to atherosclerosis. Selenium, a trace mineral abundant in oats as well as in nuts and seeds, is an important factor in DNA repair, a critical cancer-protective process. One can see the benefits of oats in granola.
Selenium also acts with vitamin E, of which sunflower seeds, a most unusual component in granola, are a rich source. It is active in nearly every antioxidant process in the body, reducing risk of cancer, heart disease and symptoms of asthma. Sesame seeds, another ingredient in our granola, are the highest known food source of phytosterols, a group of plant compounds highly effective in cholesterol reduction and cancer prevention, one of the least known benefits of granola.
Add to this a respectable dose of protein, nine minerals, six vitamins and eighteen amino acids, and oats provide a healthful foundation for this all-natural granola blend. With milk and fruit for breakfast, layered with a rich Greek yogurt for dessert, or straight out of the bag for an energy snack, our granola is a delicious asset to every diet.