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Kitchen Story: Having to Find Alternate Routes Sometimes Gets You To A Good Place (or Tasty Homemade Granola Without Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugar, Peanuts, or Almonds)

February 9, 2014

GranolaFor someone who cooks like I do, with more attention to dishes that comfort the soul and revitalizing forgotten recipes, the prospect of creating meals during a 4-week “elimination diet” was a challenge. The big ticket items in the elimination have been refined sugar, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, gluten, almonds, and onions. In my search for breakfast and snack foods that would fit the bill, I found this very nice base recipe for homemade granola. So starting there, I came up with the recipe below which is now something I think I’ll make regularly, even when we put several things back into regular rotation. It’s eminently customizable to your own tastes and likes.

Richard’s Homemade Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats (*make sure they are marked gluten-free if that is needed for you, and not quick or instant oats)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (if you don’t like coconut, then leave it out and add more oats, fruit, and nuts)
1 big pinch salt (don’t skimp on this, it gives it that wonderful salty-sweet aspect)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tablespoons honey (leave this out and this becomes a vegan recipe)
1 heaping teaspoon sunflower seed butter (or your favorite nut butter)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Mix all the dry ingredients (everything above up to the coconut oil) together in a big bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. You may need to heat up the coconut oil so it’s a liquid and not a solid…make sure you let it cool a little bit, but not so much that it solidifies again.

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry, making sure you thoroughly coat everything and all elements are well blended.

Spread the mixture into the baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and very fragrant. If you want your granola to stick together, don’t stir it at all. You can stir it if you want halfway through baking to break it up, but why would you?

Let it cool and store it in jars or in a covered bowl.

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