Last night my good friend Rob emailed me a recipe for granola. It was perfect timing, as I was heading to the grocery store and had been planning on buying granola — well I should probably make it instead no? I could save myself some money and have the option to put in only what I like to eat. In the past I have had trouble with burning the granola and putting in some unpleasant ingredients… Rob’s instructions were easy to follow and the granola came out awesome! I had it for breakfast today with some bananas. I added all the sweetener options and didn’t think it was too sweet (I also used agave instead of honey, not much clumping but a nice sweetness level). So in his own words, Rob’s Gluten free, Low sugar, No salt Granola:
This is delicious, nutritious, easy and freezable. Make your own cereal without the preservatives, extra sugar, and salt that comes with boxed store brand. Did I mention its cheaper?
Ok, basically granola is toasted whole oats with fun stuff stuck to/on it. This recipe makes one large cake pan worth of granola.
Makes about 8 cups
– 3 cups whole oats (have to get the oldschool stovetop kind, NOT the instant)
– 1 cup chopped or ground almonds, unsalted
– 1/2 cup flax seeds
– 1/2 cup chi’a seeds
(Other options, crushed peanuts, walnuts, cashews, sesame, sunflower)
– 1/3 cup coconut oil (comes in a liquid or a semi-solid form, doesnt matter which )
– 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (depends how sweet you like it)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 tablespoons of honey (optional, once again sweetness factor determines)
– 3/4 tablespoon ground cinammon
– 1/2 teaspoon cloves
– 1/2 teaspoon allspice
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (optional)
– 2 pinches of salt (you don’t have to have salt, its a flavor enhancer, I like a bit but if you don’t like it, forget it)
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, another sweetness enhancer, leave it out if you are going for max healthy)
Post Bake Mix-Ins
– Raisins ( I put in a half cup but its to your preference)
– Dried Banana chips
– Chopped Dates
– Dried Cranberries
[I added shredded coconut as well]
1. Pre-heat oven to 325
2. Mix all the spices in a small bowl
3. Mix all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl EXCEPT Chi’a seeds
4. Mix in half the spices to the dry ingredients, stir until evenly distributed
5. Put all the wet ingredients in a small sauce pan, heat on LOW (burns quick), stirring occasionally, until everything is 100% liquid i.e. all the chunks are out of the coconut oil.
6. Pour half the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients, mix in 1/2 the remaining spices, stir until evenly distributed
7. Add chi’a seeds
7. Pour the remaining wets and spices into the dries and mix, clumping isn’t necessarily a bad thing
8. Drizzle the honey on the mixture, stirring slowly to promote clumping (if you don’t care about clumping or don’t want sweetness, you can skip this step)
9. Taste the mixture, adjust spices to preference
10. Spread mixture evenly onto long rectangular cakepan or cookie sheet (I think they are 12 inches pus long)
11. Put in oven for 15 minutes, then remove from oven, mix and turn mixture to promote browning
12. Put in for another 15 minutes. remove and turn to promote browning
13. Put in for 5 minutes or until golden crust has formed
14. Flip mixture, trying not to mix it up too much, then put back in oven till crust forms on other side
15. Remove, let cool, add in Post Bake Mix-ins
Metal cookie sheets tend to cook/toast faster than glass cake pans and require more careful flipping, you also have to look out for loner oats that get burnt near the edges of the cookie sheet.
Adding the spices and wets gradually ensures even spice distribution. Adding Chi’a seeds after the wets ensures you don’t just get a big chi’a deposit on the bottom of your bowl, the things are tiny so you have to mix them in with some stickiness.
People differ in their granola preferences, some (like me) like it really toasted and crunchy, some like it softer and muesli-like. How long you bake it after the initial 30 minutes is going to determine your toastiness level.
All sweetners are optional, except perhaps a certain level of maple syrup. Agave nectar works well in place of maple syrup, gives a …plant-y organic-y taste to it if you are into that.
At its most basic level, the granola formula is oats, some kind of oil or fat, spices, sweetener, oven. You can add or subtract anything else according to your liking, you just have to determine if it gets baked or added in last. My general rule, anything raisin-like or dried fruits goes in post-bake, anything grain or nut gets baked.
Doubling, tripling, and quadrupling the recipe works well, it can all go in the oven provided you have enough containers. 3 batches usually gets me through the week, but I tend to eat granola like its my job. Stuff keeps well just in a bag on the counter like ordinary cereal, but if you are worried you could refrigerate/freeze.