Monday, March 3, 2014

Homemade Granola

Every time I go to the grocery store I look at the ingredients in already made granola.  Each time I read the list of ingredients I am disappointed that each one has sugar, rice syrup or some other type of sugar.  I guess I am expecting a company to use natural ingredients like honey or maple syrup.  A friend of mine gave me a recipe after we had a long discussion about what is in pre-made granola.  I tailored this recipe to what I wanted in it as well as what spices I could actually eat due to allergies.

Homemade Granola
8 cups organic gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced organic almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (like Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried strawberries (chopped slightly)
1 cup dried cherries (chopped slightly)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mulberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss together oats and nuts (EXCEPT FOR SLICED ALMONDS) in a bowl.

Toss together, flax seeds, sliced almonds and coconut in a bowl, set aside.

Toss together, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raisins and mulberries in a bowl, set aside.

Whisk together, oil, honey, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger; mix well.  Pour over oat and nut mixture.  Toss oats and nuts until everything is coated.  Divide by pouring into two large baking sheets (this will allow room to stir).  Place in oven and bake, stirring every 15 minutes (if you are using two pans on two different shelves, swap pans on shelves every 15 minutes).

At the halfway mark (after baked for 30 minutes) add, sliced almonds, flax seeds and coconut, dividing between the two pans, stir to incorporate.

Bake until the mixture is a golden brown, about 60 minutes.  Do not it over brown.  Remove from oven.

Add dried fruit to pans and toss to coat.

Lay wax paper onto counter, enough to cover and allow for room.  Pour granola on wax paper and let cool, stirring occasionally.  Once cool, place in Ziploc bags (do not fully seal bags).  Later that day or next day, place granola into freezer bags.  Place about 2 cups per bag and freeze.  Freezing will keep the granola crunchy.

I found that this recipe made about 14 cups of granola.

 Granola cooling 
Granola ready for the freezer
A bowl of granola with coconut milk

Some notes 
Other spices you can add:
Reduce about of cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground mace (optional)
You can also add other dried fruits:
3/4 cup cranberries

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