Because breakfast is a meal I NEVER skip sometimes I fall into a rut of eating the same thing day after day- yogurt...yogurt...some more yogurt... I mix up the fixings but still change is good right?
So two things happened last week First: My allergies were bothering me so much that a holistic healing friend of mine suggested I drop dairy from my diet for a week- YIKES! Second: I needed to make a yummy but fulfilling replacement for my yogurt.
My strategy for making granola basically consists of what I would like to eat and what I have available in my bulk foods shelve (yes I have one) to mix in.
These are a few jars from that shelve placed on my window sill for better lighting. Starting far left we have raw sunflower seeds, center is a mix of dried cherries and cranberries, and far right are almonds two ways- blanched and slivered and raw whole almonds.
As the label says here is some organic Blue Agave for some wholesome sweetness! (and low glycemic impact)
Now for some extra sweetness and flavor REAL yes R-E-A-L Maple Syrup. Please do me a favor- if you have any fake or imitation Maple Syrup stop reading this post, walk to the kitchen and throw it in the garbage! Growing up in the Catskills I was blessed and privileged to always have friends and neighbors who made the real stuff so I've sort of become a snob for the pure, wholesome golden syrup.
I'm not excited about adding oils to my food but since the granola needs some saturation before the baking process I choose a healthier option over straight vegetable oil.
Now- the STAR of the show- the Gluten Free Oats! Honestly I do not know what I would do if I could no longer eat oatmeal or granola or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made with oats- cry maybe?
Once I've raided my cabinets and collected all items I lay it all on the line. Notice I have no recipe for this granola rather an assembling of ingredients because I like to use my accurate and official eyeball/proportion method :)
The fun part about making your own granola is it's all about your preference- feeling nutty? Add more nuts- need more tart, sweetness in your life- add more dried cherries! Experiment and have fun with it!
When the dry ingredients are in place it's time to SPICE IT UP ! For this batch I kept it VERY simple by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon- my favorite all-purpose spice.
NEXT - Pour the wet ingredients over the pile of soon to be granola- once again I eyeball this but if I HAD to put quantities I'd say a 1/4 cup each of the Maple Syrup and Blue Agave- then 1/2 cup canola oil.
Mix it all up- I prefer to use my hands because I enjoy the sticky, textured mess feeling between my fingers.
Once you have everything incorporated pat the mixture flat on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
TIP: Spray foil with a nonstick spray to ensure the granola doesn't stick!
AGITATE the granola while baking! Mix ingredients every 5 minutes to ensure an evenly toasted awesomeness!
Mmmm the finished product, note the color change- not just my photoshop editing :)
The last step of any recipe is to ENJOY it! The great part about granola is how versatile it can be, on it's own, over milk, under HOT milk, or mixed with yogurt.
Featured above I took my new favorite breakfast fruit- Kiwi- along with a banana and some soy milk (since I gave up dairy) and enjoyed a wholesome diary and GLUTEN Free breaki! Yum!