Sunday, November 9, 2014

Homemade Granola (Gluten Free)

Is there anything better this time of year than HOMEMADE GRANOLA, fresh out of the oven? It's warm, a little chewy, and crunchy too. This granola is sweet and a bit salty, with a just a hint of cinnamon. Oh, how I love homemade granola! 

I came up with this granola recipe years ago (a combination of Alton Brown's, my mom's, plus a few of my own additions) and I'll warn you, it's highly-addictive. The great thing about granola is that you can add or substitute some ingredients to make it your own. You could switch out some of the nuts with walnuts or peanuts, add a pinch of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. I like to use Pure Maple Syrup with this recipe, but if I have Apple Syrup from the farmer's market on hand, it's a delicious substitution! Granola is a wonderful gift for family and friends and this recipe makes plenty enough for two families. After it's cooled completely just put half of the granola in a large mason jar with a ribbon tied around the lid and it's ready to share! Enjoy!

6 cups of oats (I use Bob's Red Mill, Gluten-Free, Rolled Oats)
1 cup almonds, sliced
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup cashews, raw
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. 

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a smaller bowl (or in a measuring cup!) mix together the maple syrup, vegetable oil and salt. If you have kids in the kitchen, they'll enjoy seeing how the syrup and oil separate in the glass measuring cup before you mix it all up!

Pour the syrup-oil-salt mixture overtop the oats and nuts. Mix until everything is evenly and thorough coated. Spread the granola out into a large baking pan, or what I prefer...a large, non-stick roasting pan used usually for cooking turkeys or hams. Place in the oven. The total cooking time will be about 2.5 hours for such a large amount of granola, mixing every 15-30 minutes with a large spoon or spatula. Here is the schedule I tend to follow:

Cook 30 min. Mix.
Cook 30 min. Mix again.
Cook 30 min. Mix. Add HONEY in a zigzag, all over pattern.
Cook 15 min. Mix. Add more HONEY and sprinkle CINNAMON on top too. 
Cook 15 min. Mix.
Cook 15 min. Mix. 
Cook 15 min. Mix. Enjoy some hot and fresh! 
Allow to cool for 15 min. Mix in RAISINS and DRIED CRANBERRIES. 

Enjoy!!! And share!!! 

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