Monday, October 24, 2011
I love granola. It's how I start every day. It's comforting to have a morning routine that nourishes you and gives you the energy you need to face the day. I have purchased many granolas over the years but when I went gluten free in April and couldn't find any packaged gluten free granola in my local grocery store, I decided to make my own. It not only tastes better, but you can control the ingredients and make a healthier version, free of preservatives. For a recipe I turned to one of my favorite food bloggers, Heidi Swanson, the voice behind 101cookbooks.com. She has so many wonderful recipes and such a fresh and friendly approach to cooking. Her blog helped me overcome my fear of the kitchen and inspired me to be more creative with my food.
My granola recipe is a hybrid of two granola recipes by Ms. Swanson--the "granola" recipe in her most recent cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, and the "grain-ola" recipe in her first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. The version below is my favorite at the moment now but you can always adjust the ingredients to your taste. One note of caution, though: If you like chewy things in your granola, I would recommend adding them in the last 10 minutes of baking time or even when you are finished baking. (I tried adding dates once and they were so hard after baking that I nearly broke a tooth.)
(adapted from Heidi Swanson's "Granola" and "Grain-ola")
4 cups rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cup banana chips (chopped, or slightly crushed to bite-size pieces)
grated zest of 2 oranges
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F / 150 degrees C. (If you are using a dark baking sheet, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.) Mix the oats, walnuts, coconut, sea salt, banana chips, and orange zest together in a large mixing bowl. In a small sauce pan, mix the coconut oil and maple syrup together over low heat, stirring continuously, until the coconut oil is melted. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix together until everything is coated. Transfer the mix to a baking sheet in an even layer and pop it in the oven. Stir the mix every 10 minutes until the granola is golden brown. It should take about 40 to 50 minutes. Allow the granola to cool completely then store it in an airtight container.