It’s Okay to be Clustered

granolaOh Granola – How I love thee. Let me count the ways. But thou dost spurn me with thine cost!

Regular granola is expensive enough, but GF granola? Scandalous!  KIND granola and LOVE GROWN granola are the ones I typically purchase as they are relatively easy to find in any grocery at an average cost of $5 for 11 ounces.  So I scoured the internet once again in search of a solution for my dilemma. OMG, SMH, and many more acronyms spewed forth from my lips! Apparently the entire civilized world is furiously creating granola recipes and posting them on the internet in case all granola factories are shut down during the next recession or doomsday apocalypse.

As luck would have it, one of my favorite sites came to my rescue. I love you Gluten Free on a Shoe String! I tried her Copycat Kind Maple Quinoa Clusters recipe. The flavor was very good but I had trouble with the clustering aspect. So I found a solution from  TheKitchn.com.  I also made later revisions based on personal preferences.  Below is the version I use, but by all means, check out the recipe link above also.  It seems granola can be a very personal thing.

Maple Pumpkin Seed Granola

6 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/2 cup of Gluten free oat flour or almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (OR  chopped almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflowers, etc)
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 cup quinoa
3 cups Gluten Free rolled oats
1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable or melted coconut)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar (coconut palm sugar or light brown sugar)
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp molasses (unsulphured)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 egg white, beaten until frothy and foamy

(1) In a large bowl, mix together the first 8 dry ingredients. Pour in oil and combine very very thoroughly until all the items are fully coated.

(2) In a medium saucepan on low flame, heat together the maple syrup, sugar and molasses just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

(3) Pour the liquid onto the oat mixture and again mix together thoroughly. It gets very sticky. I found it helpful to use a greased metal spoon.

(4) Beat the egg white until frothy and foamy.  Add to the oat mixture and blend thoroughly.

(5) Pour out onto a baking sheet pan covered in parchment. Press mixture down into the pan with greased hands or a greased spatula or wax paper.

(6) Bake at 275 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning the tray every 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5-10 minutes, then break into clusters. Return to oven for 10 more minutes if not cooked through. (I found 30 minutes to be just perfect and did not need to return it to the oven).  Check the granola frequently to make sure you reach your desired level of “golden brown”.

(7) Allow granola to air dry overnight to ensure crunch. Store in an airtight container (preferably glass).

Now making your own granola can get very pricey if you let it. Your best option is to buy your ingredients from the bins at health food stores and only in the amounts needed.  But if you have a major crush on the clusters, it may behoove you to buy the larger prepackaged bags of the ingredients.

UPDATE:  For a plain and simple but YUMMY granola recipe I recently found, click here. Thank you Wallflour Girl.

Go get granola happy!

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