During the winter I make hearty granola that fills our home with cinnamon and spice. When spring and summer bring Arizona heat, I want granola that is lighter and brighter.
I purchase new brands and flavors of granola often. Currently I’m enjoying Udi’s Gluten Free Original Granola, with Oats, Honey, Nuts, Banana Chips, Raisins, Love Grown Foods Oat Clusters Sweet Cranberry Pecan, and classic Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Oats ‘N Honey.
There are endless granola recipes that can be easily adapted to the season and to dietary needs. Granola is notorious for being high in sugar and fat, but there are many that slash sugar and fat. We keep ours gluten, dairy, and egg-free.
One granola making trick I picked up is to roast the grains, seeds, and nuts before adding wet ingredients. Place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until you can smell the roasting. This will depend on the amount of grain/seed/nut and oven. Check every few minutes and look for slight browning. While roasting, I put my wets (sweetener, oil, water, spices) in a big pot on the stove until bubbly. I add the roasted grains to the warm mixture then place all again on the cookie sheet and bake for a few more minutes.
The roasting takes care of two of my granola making problems. One, if I undercooked, my granola tasted “raw.” Two, if I overcooked to take care of the raw taste, I would burn the granola. Roasting makes the recipe so much more flexible and I like the added depth of flavor.
During winter and summer I make granola different flavors. For example, cool months looks like this:
- Winter Oils: olive
- Winter Dried Fruit: dried cranberries
- Winter Nuts: pecan, walnut
- Winter seeds: sunflower
- Winter spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice
- Winter sweetener: molasses, maple syrup, apple fruit juice
Warm months look like this:
- Summer Oils: coconut, canola
- Summer Dried Fruit: dried apricot
- Summer Nuts: cashew, almond
- Summer seeds: sesame
- Summer spice: lemon, ginger, vanilla, fruit zest,
- Summer sweetener: honey, agave syrup, citrus fruit juice
Do you eat granola? What is your favorite brand or flavor combination? How do you eat your granola? With milk, in a parfait, straight? Do you have a recipe or tips to share?
Warmly ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc