Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crunchy, Sweet Goodness: Granola!

Being gluten-free has brought several challenges.  One of these is finding suitable breakfast foods without oats, wheat, barley or rye.  My family looooves granola.  We eat it with milk, kefir, yogurt, on ice cream, or just by itself as a snack.  Before finding out we were gluten intolerant, finding yummy granola for a decent price was tricky.  So I started making it at home, and became addicted to the amazing smell it gives off as it bakes.

Once you have the right ingredients, of which there are so many possibilities, granola is really quite simple to put together.  For us, all we need do is find the gluten-free oats, which are beginning to be carried in many local stores here, and we're in business.  To make your own version, use the basic recipe I give below, and add your favorite dried fruits, nuts, flavors, etc.  Be creative!

Basic Granola Recipe

4 C rolled oats, uncooked
1 C grain-based cereal, such as puffed rice, amaranth, or corn
3 T oil
2 T maple syrup
1t cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well and spread in thin layer on cookie sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Let cool for 1/2 hour.  Granola will crisp as it cools.

To this basic mix, you can add such ingredients as:

Before baking-
Any mix of nuts or any single nut you enjoy
Other spices you like - nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves
Coconut, shaved or grated

After baking-
Chopped dried apricots, apples, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple
1 t vanilla, orange flavoring

The very best part of this recipe is the incredible aroma that comes from your kitchen as it bakes.  I once had a neighbor come over to ask what 'that addicting smell' was coming from our home.  How cool is that?  

Have you made granola?  What are your variations??

1 comment:

Angela said...

This is incredible! I just read your comment on The Non-Consumer Advocate, came to your blog, and you've posted a recipe for granola. Just yesterday as I was making a special trip to a special store to buy one item- my expensive, but delicious granola- I said to myself "you have got to go online and find a recipe for granola you can make yourself."

I can't wait to try yours- I may add a few items from my favorite- I'll let you know how it goes...