Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Everyday Allergy Friendly Granola

granola jar
Date and cranberry granola

When I originally wrote about granola here, I claimed that I didn't eat it much because it can be high in fat and sugar. That was true until I learned how to make my own-and wow, was it delicious! I used to eat it often, but when allergies reared their ugly heads, granola was put on the back burner for awhile.

In the last few months, I have figured out how to make granola for myself that is nut, soy, corn, rice, sulphite, and wheat free-which is pretty fantastic. (Note: the 'free-ness' of this granola depends on the products you use. I am okay with things that are labeled "may contain" or produced on the same lines as my allergens, but if you are not you have to do your own research) It has become my go-to breakfast, replacing the peanut butter toast that I ate almost daily for many years. Instead I now shuffle down to the kitchen, put about 1/4 cup of granola in a bowl, add another few tablespoons of puffed quinoa for good measure, top with about 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and then a sliced banana or some fresh blueberries.

It's a great way to start the day. You should try it!

This recipe is super easy and pretty forgiving. Don't have hemp hearts? No biggie. Just add more sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Basically I need 1 cup of nutty/seedy things and 1 cup of dried fruit in there, so you can adjust things to your heart's content. The original recipe calls for pecans, but I mixed it up and tried whatever I happened to have on hand. I like hemp hearts (pictured below) because they are nutritious and add some great flavour. Mine are from Bob's Red Mill, and they are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility. 

hemp hearts
Hemp hearts from Bob's Red Mill

Besides breakfast the granola makes a super tasty munchie snack late at night if you toss in some mini chocolate chips, too.

Yield: Approximately 6 1/2 cups


3 cups rolled ONLY OATS  (this brand is certified gluten free)
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (sulphite alert: be sure to get one that has NOT been processed with sulphur dioxide)
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger (check for sulphites!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp light tasting olive oil
1/2 cup chopped dates (did you know dates are sulphite free?)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins, to be specific, if you want sulphite/nut/gluten free)


1. Pre-heat your oven to 300 F, and line a really large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, sesame seeds, flax, coconut, and brown sugar.

3. In a small sauce pan, warm up the honey, olive oil, salt, ginger, and cinnamon until it's all liquidy and combined.

4. Slowly drizzle the honey/oil mixture over your giant bowl of oats and stuff, mixing as you go. Try not to spill it all over the counter, like I occasionally do.

Tip: put a damp washcloth under the bowl while you toss this so that the bowl doesn't move.

5. Once you've tossed the oats and seeds in your honey and oil spice mix, give it a good stir to make sure things are coated and then tip the works out onto your lined sheet pan. Spread it out.

6. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, taking the pan out EVERY TEN MINUTES to stir it around. Don't forget to do this, or your granola will be half cooked in some spots and burned in others (I've done it. Trust me). The granola is done when it's a deep golden brown. Set the pan on your stove top and let it cool.

granola pan2

7. Stir in dried dates and craisins and toss them around before transferring everything to a big plastic container (or a bunch of Mason jars, if you like them better). The granola should keep for quite awhile, but honestly I eat most of the batch by about 3 weeks or so.

granola pan
I have a hard time not eating it right off the pan when it's warm.
Note: I have not received any compensation or encouragement to mention particular products in this post. I have done so because they work for me and my health needs, and I would like to share the information with others who may have similar challenges.You should always read packages and contact companies if you are unsure that a product is safe for you. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. Products will differ from country to country (I'm in Canada) and what is safe here may not be where you are. Always read the label.
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