I have had the challenging yet rather successful experience of keeping with gluten-free eating while travelling this month, and one thing’s for sure, ziplock bags have been a blessing. This granola and I have become good friends through long airplane rides, hours on the road and frustrating stops at gas stations.
I had wanted to make my own gluten-free granola for a long time already since it used to be my favorite breakfast food – and let’s face it, breakfast is the best meal of the day. I took several shots at it to get the recipe right before posting it, even though it’s not that complicated once you get the hang of it, but I did burn a few batches and oversoak the nuts (or not dry them long enough) the first time.. whoops. I recommend preparing a ready-to-bake granola mix that you can bake in several batches: chop all the nuts, blend all the dry ingredients together and store them in a jar in advance. When you want to make a batch of granola, just take the quantity you need from your jar, add some coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup and bake it in the oven as indicated in the recipe below (adding all dried fruit halfway through baking). That way you don’t risk making a big batch that will spoil before you can eat it all.
This is a base recipe but you can use your choice of nuts and seeds (flax, pecans, walnuts, etc.) and dried fruit (apricots, prunes, dates, cranberries, etc.). Add this granola to a yogurt, bowl of fruit, porridge or carry around to have as an alternative snack to nuts and trail mixes.
Homemade Gluten-free Granola
Makes approx. 18 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup or 75g)
2 cups (250g) almonds
2 cups (250g) hazelnuts
1 cup (125g) cashew nuts
1 cup (125g) Brazil nuts
1/2 cup (60g) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (60g) pumpkin seeds
1 cup (100g) coconut chips (flakes)
1/2 cup (30g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup (75g) raisins
1/4 cup (75g) Goji berries
4 tbsp liquid coconut oil
3 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure bourbon vanilla powder (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
Pinch of salt
1. Optional step (recommended): soak the nuts and seeds in filtered water (see explanations for soaking and activating nuts and seeds in notes at the end of the article). Let dry for 12 hours in the oven at no higher than 40°C (you want to dry them but not cook them) or dehydrator if you have one. You can also pat them dry and leave them at room temperature for 12-24 hours, until they are dry and crisp.
2. Place the nuts on a cutting board and coarsely chop them, or pulse them in several batches in a food processor to break them into pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, salt, cinnamon, and coconut flour and mix well to combine.
3. Add the liquid coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir well to coat all the nuts and seeds.
4. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Transfer the granola to a roasting tray lined with parchment paper and press well using a spatula or the back of a spoon to even out the surface. Bake for 10 minutes, then add the raisins and Goji berries to the tray and stir to evenly bake all of the granola. Flatten out the surface and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown on top.
5. Take out of the oven and let cool (tip: place the tray in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to solidify the coconut oil and maple syrup). Once cooled, break into pieces and store in an airtight container or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
**Notes: Instructions for soaking and activating nuts and seeds
Why do we soak nuts and seeds? Because nuts and seeds contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that reduce the ability of our bodies to absorb their essential nutrients and can make them more difficult to digest. Some people are more sensitive than others, however it is generally recommendable for everyone activate nuts and seeds before eating them. Aside from raising their nutritional value, it also improves their taste.
Soaking and activating consists in leaving nuts and seeds in a salt and filtered water solution (2 cups of water for 1 cup of nuts/seeds and 1/2 tsp of sea salt) for a period of time that can vary between 3 and 12 hours depending on the type of nut or seed, then leaving them to dry at very low temperature (40°C) in an oven or dehydrator for 12 hours. It is important to dehydrate them completely before storing them in the fridge, otherwise they will develop mold. It is quite a lengthy process so it’s better to do a big batch at once.
- Almonds: 8-12 hours
- Hazelnuts: 8-12 hours
- Cashews: 2 hours
- Brazil nuts: 3 hours
- Sunflower seeds: 8 hours
- Pumpkin seeds: 8 hours
After soaking, discard the water and rinse thoroughly before dehydrating.
- The Holistic Ingredient, Activating nuts and seeds: The what, the why and the how: http://theholisticingredient.com/2013/01/04/activating-nuts-seeds-the-what-the-why-and-the-how/
- Marc’s Daily Apple, Soaking Seeds and Nuts: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaking-seeds-and-nuts/#axzz2XcHGzjpp
- Wake Up World, Why you should soak your grains, beans, nuts and seeds (with a very useful chart): http://wakeup-world.com/2012/10/18/why-you-should-soak-your-grains-beans-nuts-and-seeds/