Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crunchy Nutty Honey-kissed Granola

Being gluten-free means being a cook and a baker by default.  I rarely eat any processed foods that come out of a package ready-to-eat anymore.  For me, spending time in the kitchen preparing my meals in advance has become second nature, and I've since forgotten the convenience of being able to pick something off of a store shelf and eat it.

I have my standard recipes that I make over and over again, partly out of convenience and habit.  And I love them.  But it's not that I eat these things out of sheer convenience; I happen to enjoy the tastes I've perfected in these dishes to the point where they have become default comfort meals.  Being a person of routine only supports this; if I find something I love to eat for breakfast, which is also healthy, chances are I will eat it every single day without ever getting bored with it.  I appreciate the consistency - and the flavor - in that.

But sometimes, it can be a very good thing to leave the comfortable food arena and to experiment a little bit, even if it means just a tweak to what you've been doing.  That's how this granola came about: it was a departure.  As I was preparing to make my weekly batch of granola, I found that I was almost out of buckwheat flakes, and after surveying my cabinets, decided to experiment a bit with a mixture of grains and nuts that I had on hand.  What resulted was a deliciously flaky and crumbly granola that packs a protein punch and is the perfect way to start the morning.

Crunchy Nutty Honey-Kissed Granola

1/3 cup buckwheat flakes
1/3 cup rice flakes
1/3 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3 tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. linseeds
3 tbsp. buckwheat flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 - 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup chopped mixed nuts (I used crushed hazelnuts, almond slivers, and chopped cashew pieces)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (or favorite dried fruit of your choice)
3/4 cup honey
3 tbsp. macadamia nut butter (optional)
2 - 3 tsp. gluten-free vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spray a glass 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (everything but the honey, macadamia nut butter, and vanilla).  Combine well.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey, macadamia nut butter, and vanilla and heat over a medium flame, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns thin and starts to bubble. Pour the honey mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix in very thoroughly.  Spread the mixture into the baking dish evenly, and place in the preheated oven for 20 - 35 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you prefer your granola to be.

Serve with soy milk, over fruit, with non-dairy yogurt, or plain!

1 comment:

Hua said...

Hey Claire,

I'm glad to hear that eating gluten-free has turned into a positive for you. You are amazing cook and baker and your blog really demonstrates that.

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