I love granola. And while it’s not really the time of year you feel like putting the oven on, I highly suggest you make an exception.
I haven’t always been a fan. Granola is usually too sweet or not sweet enough and just never really appealed to me. But over the past few years, things have changed. A stint in Australia, where muesli for brekkie is the norm, began to mould my taste buds into a new shape. I still enjoy toast with peanut butter and banana (or strawberry jam) on occasion but I have been riding the breakfast grain train more and more of late.
Recently my Mum went gluten free. While initially she feared she’d never enjoy bread and grains again (her fave), instead she discovered a whole new world of new recipes that were so good, she hardly missed a thing.
This granola was one of them. I must warn you: This granola is the closest thing to crack I can describe (not that I’ve ever experienced THAT). The first time she tried it, Mum called boasting a house fragrant with oats and cinnamon, not unlike cookies or pie. And then she tried some. She immediately packed up a container for me. I’ve haven’t been the same since. Every time I visit, I bring my empty container, give her my saddest, neediest face, and hope she’ll fill me up.
It has a multitude of treasures within it: Dried cranberries, sultanas, apricots, oats (gluten free or not), hazelnuts and almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and flax and sesame too. Something for everyone!
It is just sweet enough, crunchy and comforting, and the baked, dried fruit are chewy and delicious. And you can use it in so many ways! On its own as a snack, with yogurt (my favourite), with milk as cereal…you could probably even use it as your fruit crisp topper!
NOTE! The first time I made this I baked it a touch too long. You should give it a stir each 10 minutes (it bakes for approximately 25 min) and while you’re waiting for it to turn golden, I would suggest you grab it from the oven on the light-side. It seems to darken after you’ve taken it out of the oven. There is nothing worse than too-dark granola.
Once it’s cooled, carefully break it up with your hands (you may want to do this as it’s cooling, as you may end up with it flying across your kitchen in chunks) and store in an airtight container for up to 5 weeks. Don’t worry, it never lasts that long.
Do you eat granola for breakfast? How do you eat it? If you have a different recipe that you love, I’d love for you to share it in the comments below.
Crunchy Gluten-Free Granola
- 5 cups (1.25 L) wheat-free rolled oats, such as Bob’s Red Mill (I used Quaker–they are NOT gluten free)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped whole almonds
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) raw sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced dried apricots
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) sultana raisins
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid honey
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil or butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt