Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sugar free, Healthy Oil, Totally Yummy Granola

Oh Granola how do I love thee......

I love granola and since being declared 'Gluten Free' it has limited the buy-able options. Suddenly I have to be careful of the quality of the oats and if there are 'wheat puffs' or some such....

I have always been told that making granola is easy but have never really tried it so this summer I started testing some recipes out. Gah! They can be terrifically sweet!! I want to stay away from refined sugar, corn syrup, vegetable oil and obviously gluten. After a bunch of tries this is what I have come up with

Pre heat oven 350 degrees
This is:

6 cups of rolled oats (certified gluten free)
3 cups of nuts (I like 2 cups of almonds, and one cup of hazelnuts. I buy raw nuts, soak them for 8 hours, rinse and then pulse them a couple of times in the food processor to 'chop')
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (in this case black)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cinnamon

I like to use a roasting pan for this. It makes it easy to stir without the worry of any spilling into the bottom of the oven.

In a large measure cup mix together:

2 tbsp coconut oil (you are going to have to warm it to make it liquid)
1 cup of Maple Syrup

Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and mix well until completely combined

Put in oven and let toast, stirring every time the top browns. Keep toasting and stirring until it is all nicely browned and dried out. Times will vary depending on depth and size of roasting pan. You may want to test a nut and make sure it is nice a crunchy. They take the longest to toast. It usually takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour. This could take a little longer depending on how small you chopped your nuts (har har)

I like to add the dried fruit at the very end. If they are added too early they can toast too much and get bitter and hard. You can add them for the last 10 minutes or as soon as the granola is pulled out of the oven. Add a total of 2 1/2 cups of your choice and mix and match.

Some great ones are:
Dried Blueberries
Dried Cherries
Dried Cranberries
Goji Berries
Grated Coconut (make sure to add this in for the last 15 minutes in the oven so it has a chance to toast too)

Store the granola once it has cooled in an air tight container

And then eat it.......

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