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Welcome to The Sensitive Kitchen, where home cooks are inspired to “Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish.” I’m Cindy Sullivan, registered dietitian, passionate nutrition educator, and accomplished home cook.
Whether you’re changing how you cook for food sensitivities, allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier on a budget, you’re in the right place. Most episodes, I will share favorite recipes as well as modification, tips and nutrition benefits. Occasionally I’ll have a guest or special episode like modifying holiday favorites. My favorite foods? They’re raspberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. My latest cooking project was long fermented sourdough bread.
Before we talk today about All the Granolas, I want to tell you that The Kitchen Table membership will soon soon be looking for founding members. I’m putting plans in place and would like to talk to you about what your biggest cooking struggles are and how to structure the monthly challenges in the membership. So if you’d be interested in talking to me, email me at Cindy@foodsensitivitykitchen.com.
Today, we are talking about all the granolas, or maybe I should say all the crunchy, big chunk granolas.
Are you following a gluten-free diet? We have you covered.
No nuts? Check
Vegan? All our granolas are vegan.
High protein? Yup. We have one of those!
In terms of food allergies and sensitivities, mostly when you talk about granola, you’re talking about gluten and nuts, and there are plenty of alternatives.
There are some odd ones like in our house, we don’t use honey. So all of our granolas have maple syrup, but you could easily substitute honey.
We’re going to talk today about three main granola recipes and all are loaded with chunks and whole grains.
They’re all oat based. We’re going to talk about a chunky granola, a nut-free gluten-free granola and a higher protein granola. All follow the same basic method.
For all the recipes with lots of pictures, go to foodsensitivitykitchen.com/017, because this is episode 17.
Now you can modify the flavorings in this granola to your heart’s content.
Over the years, we’ve tried cinnamon, cardamom, orange peel, vanilla, a variety of dried fruit, dried cherries, and cranberries are our favorites to add to granola.
But in my family, most often I make fairly plain granola without a lot of additional flavorings. Why? Because we adore maple flavor and the other flavors seem to obscure that wonderful maple flavor. So our granola is usually pretty simple now for big maple flavor,
Be sure you’re using the dark maple syrup previously called grade B.
When I make granola for gifts, I often make dried cherry, pecan or walnut, dried cranberry. I use one cup of mix-ins. So a total of maybe a half a cup of dried cherries and a half a cup of pecans or one cup of walnuts about one cup of mix-ins. will give you – will allow the granola to still form those big chunks.
You can add more mix-ins, but it will interfere with your big chunks. And in my house, we’re all about big crunchy chunks of granola.
My husband figured out how to make big chunks years ago. Do you know how? Let me know what you do to get big chunks in your granola!
Years ago, I would make granola with wheat germ. He would make his with oat bran because he avoids most wheat. He had big chunks. Mine did not. Bummer.
Was it really the wheat versus oats? It wasn’t.
We all liked his big chunks and the maple flavor that his had. Turns out the solution was a really simple one – more water! Yes, really more water, and a light hand when flipping the granola.
If you dislike big chunks, don’t despair. You can just stir the granola on the sheet instead of flipping it and you’ll have hardly any chunks at all.
Let’s talk about ingredients.
As I mentioned before earlier, oats are the basis of this breakfast staple, which is also delicious at lunch and for snacks. Oats are a whole grain loaded with soluble fiber.
And although oats do not contain gluten, they’re often contaminated with gluten. So if you have celiac disease or especially careful about gluten, be sure you purchase gluten-free oats.
The wheat germ, or the oat bran, add nutrients and help bind the liquid and the oats to form those big chunks. I recommend toasted wheat germ, which tastes better in this recipe.
Now as a side note, wheat germ is not a regular ingredient in my kitchen, but I always have some in my refrigerator for making granola. It keeps well refrigerated.
The liquid ingredients are maple syrup, oil (use, whatever kind of oil you want – melted if it’s not liquid at room temperature) and water. They serve to bind, the oats and the wheat germ, or the oat bran.
As the granola bakes it dries out. You’re going to bake this at 275 degrees. So it’s a little bit lower temperature for a longer time to allow more of that liquid to evaporate and the granola to get toasty.
I know it sounds crazy to add water and then evaporate it in the baking process. But this is all about forming those crunchy chunks.
There’s also brown sugar in this recipe, at least in the one with wheat germ. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, brown sugar gives a depth of flavor that we find appealing. Second, using brown sugar, is much cheaper than adding more maple syrup, but you can certainly use all maple syrup.
Now in the nut-free, gluten-free version because brown sugar has molasses and my husband is sensitive to molasses, we don’t use any brown sugar in that one at all.
Remember when it’s absorbed in your body, your body doesn’t care where the sugar came from. Sugar is sugar.
Let’s talk a little bit about cost before we talk about make this granola.
Have you priced gourmet granola lately? Last time I did, it was $9 for a bag that would be less than half of this recipe. You can save serious money by making your own granola! Enough money to justify the purchase of real maple syrup if it’s not already in your kitchen.
So how do you do this? The basic recipe and technique is the same for all the granolas and it’s easy, no special equipment, anything.
First of all, combine your dry ingredients. So the oats and either the wheat germ, or the oat bran the brown sugar, if you’re using it, and a little pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix them well. I often use my hands to break up the brown sugar lumps quickly, but a spoon works just fine.
Whisk your hot ingredients, just to kind of emulsify him a little bit, whisk it for a minute or so. Maybe not that long, maybe 30 seconds. They won’t be completely emulsified, but you’re just trying to emulsify them a little bit.
Now you’re going to put your liquid ingredients in a glass measuring cup. Stick it in the microwave until it’s steaming hot. You can also do it on the stove, of course.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix. Well here, you want to make sure all of those dry ingredients are coated with liquid. If you’re using nuts, add them now and mix them again.
Dried fruit will dry out too much if you add it at this point in time. I have done it, and you won’t like the bullets that result – trust me. You can add the dried fruit when you flip the granola. If you’re going to use dried fruit.
So place the granola in a lined, rimmed, half sheet pan. So for a liner you might use parchment paper. You might use a silpat liner, whatever kind of liner you want to put on your sheet..
And if you want your granola to be chunky, pat down the mixtures as you spread it on the pan. I just use the same spatula – silicone spatula that I mixed it with.
This step is the most time consuming part of the entire recipe. When you’re done, the granola should cover the bottom of a half sheet pan.
Now, if you’re not adding nuts, it might not quite go to the edges because you haven’t added a cup of ingredients.
Bake it for 30 minutes 275 and remove the pan from the oven. Carefully flip the granola one spatula full at a time. If you want your granola to have larger chunks, you need to take your time and flip it carefully so the chunks remain mostly intact.
If you’re adding fruit, you can sprinkle it over the granola at this time. You can also add the fruit, the dried fruit, after you bake it if you desire. Either works wonderfully.
Turn the baking sheet front to back and return it to the oven. Bake it about 20 more minutes.
You want the granola to be golden brown. It should be fairly firm, but it will crisp up a little more as it cools.
If you’re making the gluten-free version, you’ll need to bake it at least 30 minutes more instead of 20 minutes more. The wheat germ is toasted. The oat bran is not – at least I haven’t been able to find oat bran that comes toasted. You could toast it ahead of time, but it’s really an unnecessary step. just bake your granola a little bit longer if you use oat bran. Iit makes a difference in the depth of the flavor of the granola. So to compensate for it not being toasted, you’re going to bake it longer. So it’s a dark golden Brown color.
For the gluten-free version, we often bake it for 30 minutes, flip it, bake it 30 more minutes. And then if it’s not quite golden brown, I usually turn off the oven and leave it in the oven for another 10, 20 or 30 minutes as the oven cools. When you take it out of the oven, it’s all nice and golden brown.
Cool granola at room temperature until it’s completely cool. And then store it in an airtight container.
It’s time to get out the yogurt and enjoy, or however you like granola. We eat it in a variety of ways.
Let’s talk a little bit about the nutrients. First of all, it’s loaded with whole grain oats. So you get a good dose of whole grains in this recipe.
Those oats also supply fiber, mostly the soluble kind. Soluble fiber is great for feeding your friendly bacteria in your gut, as well as helping your blood sugar stay stable. Oats also supply protein.
A quarter cup of oats, which is about what you get in one serving of this granola, supplies, about 50% of the manganese you need in a day and 64% (about two thirds of the) molybdenum you need an a day. Now. I think the reason that most dietitians don’t talk about molybdenum is because we can’t pronounce it!! It’s M O L Y B D E N U M. So two thirds of that mineral.
More than 25% of the phosphorus, copper and the B vitamins, biotin and thiamin.
Wheat germ is a powerhouse in terms of nutrition. There’s about a tablespoon of wheat germ in a serving of granola. For about 20 calories, it supplies a gram of insoluble fiber. So it’s great because you get both kinds of fiber, half a gram of unsaturated fat and is a good source of vitamin E, folate, magnesium and zinc.
Oat bran is slightly below wheat germ in terms of nutrient density, but it’s still a powerhouse. It’s high in soluble fiber. The B vitamin thiamin, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, and potassium.
So for about a third of a cup of granola, you get about five grams of protein, four grams of fiber and all the vitamins and minerals in the wheat germ and oats. And if you’re including nuts, you get more unsaturated, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Let’s talk for a minute about the higher protein version of this granola. For this granola, the protein content, above what you get in the oats, depends on the kind of nuts you use (by the way, so does the omega three fat content. So if you use walnuts, you’ll get less protein, but more omega-3 fatty acids.)
So for the higher protein version, almonds are higher in protein. And if you use a cup of almonds, there will be seven grams of protein per one third cup serving of this granola. I don’t usually use protein powders, so you don’t find them in this high protein recipe.
I looked at some recipes online to see if the, how much protein there is in a lot of these recipes. Many of them are in the seven to nine gram range, but some of the serving sizes are larger. So many of the high protein ones online do use protein powders. Okay.
Also stay tuned. I am experimenting with an almond almond butter version that gives you eight grams of protein per serving. So I’m experimenting with that. I’m not quite done yet, so it’s not ready to be released.
That’s all for today. Three granola recipes for you, chunky granola nut-free gluten-free granola and higher protein granola. Realize you can combine these in a variety of ways. You can take the chunky granola and use all almonds, which makes it the higher protein granola, but you can also take the gluten-free granola and add the almonds to that. All are vegan and all are delicious.
In closing, I want to remind you of two things. First of all, the Cooking Framework Quizz is finally live! Go to foodsensitivitykitchen.com to take it. It’ll give you an idea about the kind of cook you are so you can feed your food sensitive family more easily and more in tune with how you cook and the kinds of foods your family likes to eat.
I also want to tell you, I can’t wait for next week’s podcast. My special guests, Debra is on a gluten-free, corn free adventure, and she’ll be sharing her food journey as well as two recipes with us. And you won’t want to miss it.
Thanks for listening today. Keep Cooking to Enable Those You Love to Flourish. Have a great day.