I genuinely believe granola has gotten a bad rap. From hippie culture*, to the cereal isle, people just don’t seem understand it (not you, you aren’t included in
, you are educated on the glory of granola).
When I was little, all the other kids made fun of me at camp when breakfast rolled around. I would pour a bowl of raisin granola and hop up on the bench ready to devour it’s 2% covered goodness (my mom always bought skim [woof! no offense mom, it was the 90's I get it]). However, when I raised that first spoon full of milk coated clusters to my mouth the kid next to me would turn their head and stare with eyes the size of saucers, “how can you eat that crap?” they would ask, “it tastes like cardboard! Didn’t you see that they had TRIX up there!? I mean, you could have at least gone for some Captan Crunch!” I became ashamed of my love for the munchy-crunchy breakfast cereal that had graced my bowl for so many years. I hid my feelings and started eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead, which was delicious don’t get me wrong, but deep down, I felt like I was betraying my beloved granola.
As fate would have it, I can no longer eat the granola served at most breakfast counters or sold in the majority of super markets. I am restricted to saving my pennies and splurging on a bag of gluten free Kind granola every now and again, but it is an indulgence I usually avoid.
What is glutarded girl to do? Suffer? Forgo the delectable golden flakes of granola goodness for the rest of her life!? (ok that is super dramatic, there is a LOT of good gluten free granola out there, it just costs an arm and a leg [TOTALLY WORTH IT]) Not only granola, but cereal in general… I miss it, and I’m not afraid to say it. And so, the other evening when I was experiencing a rather fierce bout of cravedom, I decided enough was enough, and whipped up a heaping batch of homemade granola… and I must admit, it was a success.
What you will need:
3 cups gluten free oatmeal (don’t say I didn’t warn you, when I said heaping I meant it)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup nuts and berries (I used almonds and cashews… note to self, get the nuts minus the berries and add the berries after… dried cranberries get a little burned [don't worry I picked mine out mid-baking and saved the day])
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or 1/3 maple syrup)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
Optional- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds toasted and sprinkled in sea salt and cinnamon (Drew calls them crack)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine gf oats, chia seeds, nuts (not berries), cinnamon, and sea salt, give it a stir and set aside. In a small sauce pan, combine the almond butter, olive oil, honey, and coconut sugar, melt together stirring constantly. Once combined take the liquid and pour it over the oat mixture, stir until well coated. Pour the concoction onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 or so to see how it is baking, remove from the oven when it has reached a nice golden brown (I won’t lie, I got distracted and over did it just slightly, but it was still delicious). Once cool, add in the dried cranberries (or other fruit of choice), mix in well.
Hearing those crisp flakes hit the sides of my breakfast bowl was music to my deprived ears. Some of you may not understand, and that is ok… but I know there are those of you out there (Terese!) who understand exactly how I feel.
*In other news. I have been hanging around a lot of ‘granola’, hippie, californians lately… and I don’t hate it… you guys… I think I may be a hippie at heart. I mean, I probably should have seen this sooner, what with my love of loose clothing and granola from such a young age, and my excessive desire for peace and harmony; better late than never right? Don’t worry, I still bathe and remove 98% of my body hair, so I will never be 100% accepted in that culture, but that is perfectly ok with me.