Granola is really expensive to buy, especially any gluten-free variety. It also tends to be a sugar-bomb and, depending on the brand, can have all sorts of funny oils and binders added.
Take a peek at the product label to the right: how many of those things are non-food (or at least unidentifiable as a single ingredient)? How many times does sugar appear on there*? It's also packed with 'refined' ingredients, modified 'starches', and 'extracts'... these non-whole foods don't do the body an favors and often lead us to crave more throughout the day (think of it as giving the body only a fraction of what it needs. It makes sense that it will continue to ask for everything it missed out on. Hello, cravings...)
Following my post earlier in the week on reading product labels, I decided to get a little creative and make up a batch of this staple -- just a few ingredients, no label. :) Granola happens to be Michael's breakfast of choice. It's easy to make in bulk. It keeps well. Win win win for a whole food re-creation of something that might otherwise be packed with non-foods.
There's a ton of flexibility with this recipe! Substitute out the sweetener (agave, coconut nectar, etc. in place of honey) or leave it out entirely (which I would do if I was planning on eating this... this batch is definitely Michael's). You could swap in different nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias, peanuts, etc. in place or in addition to the cashews), or switch up the dried fruit. Avoid baking the fruit if you can (it burns easily); as described in the recipe, you can toss the fruit in once everything else has baked, and combine evenly.
This is also a great way to spruce up otherwise plain muesli: just sub in a few cups of [unsweetened, non-dairy] muesli for oats.
Just 6 simple ingredients, about 40 minutes in total, and a huge jar of breakfast-y goodness for a week. Well worth the extra little bit of work!
How do you eat your granola? What will you add into the mix?
*Answer to the above: sugar appears on that label 16 times (17 if you count raisins). Whoa.
- 6 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups Thompsons raisins
- 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1. Preheat oven to 350F.
- 2. Combine all ingredients except raisins in large mixing bowl; combine evenly.
- 3. Spread on baking trays and bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned and crispy.
- 4. Once cooled, transfer back to mixing bowl and add raisins. Toss to combine.
- Store in an airtight container.