Gluten-free Granola

Last October at the Bellingham Gluten Intolerance Group’s Annual Community Awareness Event at St Luke’s Community Health Center, Seattle-area author Karen Robertson spoke.  She stopped by the Co-op’s table, introduced herself, and gave me a copy of her gluten-free granola recipe.  When I was looking for a good granola recipe to demo, I remembered I had gotten one from her and contacted her about using it.

Karen wrote a gluten-free cookbook filled with great recipes a few years ago that is available for purchase on her blog in a digital format (the books are out of print, but you can still find them on Amazon).  She teaches cooking classes at South Seattle Community College, has taught at Puget Consumers Co-op (PCC), and posts recipes and tips on her blog.  Check it out and support another great local author and cook!

Her granola recipe was very simple to make (and smelled divine as it was cooking) – simply mix all your dry ingredients (I used Bob’s gluten-free rolled oats, unsweetened shredded organic coconut, chopped organic almonds and walnuts, and organic cinnamon – you can also add ground flax seeds) and heat up the wet ingredients in a small saucepan (organic canola oil, local raspberry honey, and organic vanilla extract).  Mix them together until your dry ingredients are fully moistened, and then spread evenly in a large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with ridges.  Cook at a low temp for 1 1/2 hours (stirring every 30 minutes or so) and you are good to go!

The granola was very popular (one of my most popular demos) and would be very easy to adapt to your specific diet.  Not gluten intolerant?  Just use regular oats.  Don’t like to use canola oil?  Substitute with grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, or your favorite cooking oil.  Are you vegan?  Well, omit the honey and use agave syrup (or brown rice syrup) in its place.  A customer said they were going to make the granola and add some diced dried apricot and pineapple to it (after it had cooked) and that sounds yummy.  I’m going to make a batch for myself this weekend, and I plan on adding peanut butter to the oil and honey mixture.

I served the granola with Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy’s 2% milk (it’s on sale right now) from up the road in Lynden, and Karen recommends eating it with Greek yogurt.

Enjoy!

Gluten-free Granola Photo © 2011 Sassy Sampler

 New Gluten-free Granola

from Cooking Gluten-Free! by Karen Robertson (used with permission)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 c unsweetened coconut
  • 2 c Bob’s GF Rolled Oats
  • 2 c finely chopped almonds
  • 1 c finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 T finely ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. Lightly oil a jelly roll pan (12 ½” x 17 ½”) or a large, rimmed baking sheet with a bit of canola oil.
  3. Combine coconut, oats, almonds, walnuts and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan combine the honey, oil and vanilla.  Heat until the honey is as thin as the oil.  While mixture is on the heat source, watch it very closely as it can bubble up and boil over.
  5. Pour honey mixture over oat/nut mixture and stir until it is mixed evenly and is thoroughly moistened.
  6. Spread mixture in an even layer on your prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  8. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Gluten-Free Granola PDF

5/10/11 update – I made the granola this weekend at home, but I went for a sweeter version.  I threw a small handful of chocolate chips into the honey/oil/vanilla mixture and let them melt (once it was off the heat, stirring frequently) and then tossed in a few more chocolate chips when I mixed it all together.  It made delicious chocolate granola, much like the one from Erin Baker’s (of Baker’s Breakfast cookies fame) that we have in bulk – a granola I have missed since finding out I was gluten-intolerant!  I’m going for the peanut butter version next…

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realized yesterday, about 10 minutes before I was going to head home, that I hadn’t picked a recipe for my Friday demo.  I keep a stash of recipe ideas, so I delved in to see what I had already available to me.  Back in September, I found a recipe for cookies with no flour (hence they are also gluten-free) that were also vegan and I decided it was high time that I gave them a go.  After baking them and tasting them, I have to wonder why I waited so long to demo them!

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com, and found out that the Almond Board of California had submitted it to the website, but that it was originally created by Elana Amsterdam in her cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (she has a new cookbook coming out soon that is all about cupcakes made with almond and coconut flour).  I had somehow never heard of this cookbook, but I will be buying a copy soon (we don’t carry it at the Co-op, but I’ll check my favorite bookstore Village Books).  I love almonds, and they are a great source of protein and fiber, so a whole cookbook of recipes sounds great to me!

As always, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe according to my personal tastes – instead of grapeseed oil, I used organic canola oil (grapeseed oil gives me a stomach-ache, but it is a healthy oil that promotes “good” cholesterol and has a high smoking point) and I toasted the sliced almonds and the almond flour/meal as well.  You don’t have to do either, and I only indicate to toast the sliced almonds in the recipe – if you want to go the extra step and lightly toast the almond meal/flour, then make sure you cool it before finishing the recipe, and you’ll only need to toast it (stirring constantly) for about a minute.

I was a little concerned because the batter seemed really wet, but the cookies turned out to be soft and delicious!  They are pretty fragile when they come out of the oven, and you need to let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes.  I put them in the fridge (still on the sheets) after they had cooled the allotted amount of time, and they became much less fragile but still stayed soft and moist.  They were loved by all who tried them, and are great if you can’t have grains, gluten, and/or dairy products.  They were super easy to make and I had the whole batch prepared and cooled in under an hour.

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from The Gluten-free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 c gluten-free almond flour/meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 c grapeseed or organic canola oil
  • 1/2 c organic agave nectar
  • 1 T organic gluten-free vanilla
  • 1/2 c organic dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  2. Place sliced almonds in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Toast almonds until they are fragrant and slightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda.
  4. In a 2 c measuring cup (or a medium bowl) combine oil, agave, and vanilla.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  The batter will be very wet.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and toasted almonds.
  7. Spoon dough 1 heaping Tablespoon at a time onto your prepared baking sheet, pressing down with your palm or the back of your spoon to flatten, about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 8—12 minutes, until lightly golden.
  9. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then remove and serve!

You don’t need to toast the sliced almonds—it just adds a little more flavor to the cookie, and if you are not gluten-intolerant (or don’t have access to organic versions of the ingredients) then you don’t need to be overly concerned with the specific ingredients listed.

Suggestions from Allrecipes.com members:  You can omit the chocolate chips and make jam thumbprint cookies with this recipe as well.  After you put the heaping T of batter on the cookie sheet, make an indentation in the center with your thumb.  Fill with a small scoop of your favorite jam and bake as directed.

Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies PDF