Homemade Granola | Refined Sugar Free | Gluten Free
This past year has been an interesting ride when it comes to what we eat here at the farmhouse.
After reading a memoir about a woman & her family that vowed to cut out sugar for a year (A Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Shaub), I learned SO much about the how harmful sugar is in our bodies. No surprise there! But prior to this book, it was much easier to pull the wool over my eyes and ignore the amount of sugar in my foods. I immediately made a big change in our eating - we baked less, we used up and stopped buying a lot of sugar-laden items, and were very thoughtful about the condiments & ingredients we stocked in our kitchen. I literally tossed the canister of white sugar that we had! I have to insert my caveat here. We choose to keep both honey and maple syrup on hand so we could add a bit of sweet if we wanted to.
The second thing that changed for us was to try gluten-free eating. Our oldest has struggled with mild stomach issues for a couple of years. We had discussed eliminating potential culprits and finally decided it was worth trying to remove gluten from our diet. Gluten has shown to be inflammatory and can cause stomach troubles, so we thought, 'Why Not?" Over the course of a couple of weeks, we used up or discarded gluten-containing ingredients in our pantry. I sat down and mapped out a month of gluten-free meals and we flipped the switch and got started.
To be honest, our gluten free meals have been amazing! Since we are passionate about whole foods & knowing our ingredients, the swap to gluten-free eating has meant we've increased the amount of real foods we are eating. Instead of a carb-gluten heavy meal such as pizza, we are leaning into the meat & veggies on our plates.
To be honest, I was FLOORED by the changes I felt myself.
I didn't think I had any issues with my gut or digestion before this change. But I very quickly realized that I had no bloating, no fullness, no rumbling gut.
But what really surprised me, is that I no longer woke up with sore joints (that I honestly didn't know I even had). No more sluggish in the morning.
And now when I indulge in a dessert or gluten, I could tell.
We have slowly been adapting recipes to make them gluten free and refined sugar free. One of those recipes is for homemade granola. Many recipes have brown or white sugar so we've adapted our previous recipes so that the sweet comes from maple syrup.
So today, I wanted to share the recipe for homemade granola that we eat almost every day. The kids add it to their yogurt. I love topping my smoothie with granola for a delicious breakfast.
Homemade Granola Recipe | Gluten Free | Refined Sugar Free
- 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts - pecans, cashews, or walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds, if desired
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried fruit, optional (of your choice - pineapple, mango, banana chips, berries)
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, ground cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
Add melted butter, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir until combined well.
Transfer the granola mixture to the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread out on sheet until the mixture is in an even layer with similar thickness across the whole sheet. Place on the centre rack of the oven.
Bake at 300F for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring your granola every 15 to 20 minutes. Bake until the granola is lightly browned.
Remove the granola from the oven. Stir in the raisins and dried fruit into the warm granola. If you prefer your raisins and fruit to be chewy in your granola, feel free to tuck the pan back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes as this will dry the raisins and fruit out a bit more.
Let the granola cool completely on the pan. Transfer to air-tight containers for storage. Mason jars work well. Store at room temperature in a dark, dry pantry for best keeping.
Makes approximately 3 litres/quart jars full of granola.
Storage: use within 1 to 2 months for best freshness.