Resistant starch foods is one of the weight loss trends of the new year – considered the third type of dietary fiber, the appeal of foods containing resistant starch is the promise they will keep you feeling fuller longer because they take longer to digest. Feeling satiated can potentially keep your energy levels on an even keel and prevent you from getting hungry and overeating. Resistant starch foods – like whole grain bread, bananas, legumes such as navy beans, potatoes, lentils, oatmeal and barley – resist digestion, meaning they’re in your system longer than simple sugars, known for causing an energy spike followed by a crash. Fortunately, these foods are whole foods that are great additions to a healthy diet anyway – it’s not new news that a high fiber diet is a good thing.
Why not begin your day with a grainy breakfast? Rolled barley flakes are available at most health food stores, and look and taste almost exactly like rolled oats – you can cook them together, even, as they cook in the same amount of time. Bonus: barley has about four times the fiber of oats.
Resistant Starch Granola
Adding a glug of flax oil (replace about half of the canola oil) will boost omega 3 fatty acids. For a resistant starch boost, serve topped with sliced bananas.
2-3 cups old-fashioned (large flake) oats
2-3 cups rolled barley flakes
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or a combination
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame, sunflower and/or flax seeds
a shake of cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or coconut extract
1/2-1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, slivered apricots or other dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, barley, nuts, coconut, seeds, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well coated.
Spread out onto one or two baking sheets, making clumps by squeezing some of it together if you like. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times, until golden. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Cool completely, then package in jars or sealed bags.