Traditional Homemade Granola, With Gluten-Free Oats
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Lately I’ve gone back to eating oats. Gluten-free oats, that is. I’ve written about oats before but it’s worth revisiting — oats themselves do not contain gluten, but they are often cross-contaminated with wheat. So unless they are certified gluten-free there is a chance they may contain wheat, and therefore gluten. There are a couple of sources for certified gluten-free oats, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats and Lara’s Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. Bob’s Red Mill also has great gluten-free steel cut oats. (You can often find them at health food stores or gluten-free bakeries, but if you don’t have access to them you can order them online.) Oatmeal from gluten-free steel cut oats is now my breakfast at least once a week.
But I also just recently started making traditional granola again, with real oats. Here is an old recipe I used to make. In the past I used peanut butter, but now I am avoiding peanuts so I tried making it with macademia butter instead – it was a success, especially since it is very creamy and easy to mix with the granola. I used to use honey, but the raw honey I got from the farmers’ market was too solid so I used maple syrup instead. You could also try brown rice syrup or agave if you prefer, though I am trying to use more natural and unprocessed sweeteners (like maple syrup and raw honey) and just use less of them.
4 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 T ground flaxseed meal
1/3 cup macademia butter
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
Optional: dried fruit or chopped dates
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, syrup, and nut butter and mix thoroughly. Spread evenly on a couple of baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, removing at 10-minute intervals to stir. At the last stirring, before the final 10-minute interval, you may add optional chopped dates. If you’re using dried fruit you may want to add it after the granola has finished baking. Allow it to cool completely and pack in an airtight container.
What’s that you see with the granola – yogurt?! Yes, I recently tried introducing yogurt made from goat’s milk or sheep’s milk into my diet. Since I occasionally eat goat’s milk or sheep’s milk cheese, I figured I might be able to try the yogurt. As with cheese, the process of culturing the milk removes the lactose so I thought it would be a safe bet. After 4 days, I had no reaction. So, I am gradually incorporating this food into my diet, having a small amount every 4-5 days. The cultures are very good for digestion and I am trying to get a few more animal products into my diet. For years now I have struggled with maintaining muscle mass (even though I do yoga 4-5 times a week and ride my bike to work), and have been reading the book Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. It is very insightful and makes a strong case for the benefits of eating traditional foods, including grass-fed animal protein and fat. (Lately I have been trying all sorts of interesting things, like chicken liver and the raw yolks of pastured eggs…I’ll talk more about that later.) If you avoiding dairy but are able to tolerate some form of sheep’s milk or goat milk, yogurt is probably the easiest way to get the benefits of healthy fats and proteins found in milk in a very digestible form. You can probably find goat or sheep’s milk yogurt at your farmers’ market or perhaps your local health food store. Some people find a slight aftertaste with the goat yogurt, but it goes great with granola!