I have a disastrous history with granola.
I’ve made it a lot of different ways – with butter, oil, dates, oat groats, baked, raw and dehydrated, maple syrup, honey and with plain old sugar. Only once has it actually worked out well. Other times I’ve been stuck with tupperware containers of overly chewy, undersweetened, hollow-tasting mush.
This time, I swore it would be better. I’m older now, wiser and more mature granola-wise. I’d like to think I can sniff out a good recipe and see the inevitable faults of a bad one. For me a granola must be, in this order:
3. Addictively sweet
4. Not full of butter and refined sugar for both lactose intolerance and health reasons
5. Preferably not involving eggs so that it has a longer shelf life.
6. Preferably not involving wheat (at least not really refined wheat, since I’d use my gluten-free oats)
So I gave granola one more kick at the can with a recipe from Megan…kind of. The coconut oil is a great butter replacement, adding a bit of luxury to the granola.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked for 8 hours. Mine were already dehydrated but that meant they burned a little)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional. I happened to have them so I threw them in)
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated cinnamon (or 1/2 – 1 tbsp ground cinnamon)
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 cups raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees degrees Fahrenheit.* Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. In a large bowl combine the oats, brown rice flour, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. In a medium saucepan combine the salt, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds scraped from the inside of the bean (reserve the bean for later use such as infusing oils, sugars, or simmered dishes. If using vanilla extract add it after the next step).
3. Heat over low heat until the honey softens (do not bring to a boil – this kills a lot of the good things in the coconut oil and maple syrup I think. And maybe also the flavour of the vanilla)
4. Pour hot liquid over dry ingredients and stir to coat. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with raisins and gently turn over in large squares (if you mash it all up you’ll lose the clusters. Think of the baking sheet as divided 6 large squares and try to keep those squares whole as you flip them over. It probably won’t work perfectly, but it’ll be better than if you just mashed it all up.
6. Bake 10 more minutes or until golden brown. The honey and maple syrup burn easily so be careful not to leave it too long!
7. Cool and store in an airtight container. Keeps a few weeks in the fridge.
The upside of the granola slightly burning is that you need to eat the slightly burned bits right away before they harden too much and get that charred taste. It’s a great excuse to pick the granola straight off the pan, thereby “getting rid of”/eating all the delicious bits that are just a touch too far along…
*For a raw version of this granola try sprouted buckwheat instead of oatmeal and brown rice flour, and dehydrate in an oven on its lowest possible temperature with the door open (or in a dehydrator) until crunchy and clustered. You can also just leave the honey and maple syrup mixture on top of something hot to help it all melt together instead of turning on the heat. Here, patience is a virtue.