Have you ever loved something so much yet at the same time you hate it? Ok, maybe hate is too strong of a word, but this is exactly how I feel about granola. I have this weird relationship with it, but I can't be the only one out there. Right? It satisfies any sweet, savory, crunchy craving you have and is hands down the perfect addition to yogurt, oatmeal, or a cold glass of almond milk. However, I have to actively stop myself from wandering down this aisle at the supermarket, but somehow my shopping cart always steers me there. Then, I find myself contemplating for a good twenty minutes if I should buy the granola or not. Why?
The amount of added sugar that is in granola is completely unnecessary and the fact that once I open the bag- I will finish it- the entire bag is gone with the wind. (anyone get that?) Serving sizes of granola are ridiculous and it goes out the window once that bag has been opened. Seriously though? ¼ cup can be over 200 calories and over 20 grams of sugar? Does anyone actually stick to the serving size? I’ve perfected mindless eating with granola and plus it isn’t the best thing that I should be eating considering I suffer from digestive issues.
Lets stop for a minute and check out those clusters above.....
Last weekend I was on a coconut, almond, chocolate kick, if you couldn't already tell by my toasted coconut almond chocolate baked oatmeal that I made. Which, I swear tasted like an almond joy. Anyways, back to the granola. I had left over coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and sprouted almonds so I thought I would mix it all together with gluten free oats and make my own clustery treat. One good thing about making granola? You can control the amount of sugar and ingredients that goes in. I have to really watch my sugar intake, which is why I have to stay away from pretty much every granola on the market. I only added a little maple syrup to the mix because the chocolate chunks and the cinnamon that I would add in would sweeten it right up!
Also, I used sprouted almonds and sprouted oats in my mix. Sprouting reduces the fat content AND removes enzyme inhibitors. Double win! It also enhances the flavor (think nuttier, creamy, sweeter) and these types of nuts or oats are more nutritious, healthier, easier to chew and most importantly easier to digest. Perfect right?
This granola wasn’t too sweet but had strong flavors of coconut and toasted almonds. When the granola was cooling on the baking sheet I decided to throw a few chocolate chunks into the mix, because why not? It balanced out the coconut and almond flavor and definitely was the missing element (for me anyways). Of course, I had to have clusters in my granola so I mixed the ingredients together using my hands to allow chunks to form together. I also decided to sprinkle a little coconut sugar to the mix and added a sweet caramel flavor to the granola.
You know those types of smells when you are baking that just fill the entire kitchen? This was one of them and I wanted to somehow capture this in a bottle.
Breakfast / Snack
Serves: 4-5 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
*Recipe adapted from Ashley over at Fit Mitten Kitchen!
2 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sprouted almonds
3/4 cups chopped sprouted almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tbsp. coconut sugar (optional)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 heaping tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
4 tbsp. almond milk or water
Dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl add the chia seeds with either the almond milk, water, or apple juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the gluten free oats, almonds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, sea salt. [If you are adding in things like goji berries, chocolate chips, or cranberries I would wait until the granola is done- the chocolate will obviously melt and the goji berries might burn]
In a separate bowl mix together the almond butter, the soaked chia seeds mix, coconut oil, and maple syrup. If the mixture is difficult to mix you can heat it for a minute and it will come together easier.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry mix. Use your hands to incorporate both mixes.
Spread out the mix evenly on the baking sheet. Here you can somewhat control the size of the granola. I prefer chunks, so I scrunch some of mix together with my hands. This will allow the granola to stick together while it is baking in the oven.
Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take the granola out of the oven and give it a gentle mix. To keep the clusters together lightly flip the granola.
Place the granola back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes. Once the coconut flakes, oats, and the sprouted almonds have developed a golden brown color you know it will be finished!
Leave the oats on the pan for 10 -15 minutes. The air will give the granola a nice crunch! I tend to leave mine on the pan for an hour or after the 15 minutes I will put it in a container without the top for a while.