I adapted this recipe from my chef hubby's restaurant version. It's so delicious, you'll want to eat it by the handful. I think the Olive Oil version of Earth Balance is superior to the original flavor, and it does very well in this recipe. The maple syrup adds depth to the flavor, giving it more of a caramel note. The honey version is cleaner, and will satisfy the tastebuds of any purist. Using coconut oil makes the recipe more rich. You can also do a blend of the Earth Balance and coconut oil.
1/2 C Earth Balance (or coconut oil or butter)
1/2 C Honey
1/8 - 1/4 C Maple Syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
4 C Uncooked Gluten-free Quick Oats (I like Bob's Red Mill: see below)
1 C Raw Almonds (or nuts or seeds of your preference)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
Melt the Earth Balance, salt, honey (and maple syrup if desired) in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and fold in almonds and oats, making sure everything is coated by the sauce. Then spread out thinly over a sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir granola, spread out thinly again, and return to oven for 15 minutes. The last 15 minutes can go pretty quickly, and sometimes the granola will brown pretty fast, so keep your eye on the granola during the second half. You may need to stir it a couple more times before the 15 minutes is up.
Total baking time is 30 minutes.
The granola will be soft when you remove it from the oven. Let it sit and cool for about 30 minutes. The granola will harden as it cools. If you need to bake another batch using your sheet pan, just scoop the granola into a bowl or flat container, and allow the granola to cool while repeating the process above.
Feel free to add cinnamon, shredded coconut, or dried fruit as desired. Sesame and sunflower seeds are also a nice addition. Just make sure that whatever you add, you take away the same amount of almonds. You can replace some of the oats, but they will soak up the sauce, whereas the nuts and seeds won't.
Product used: Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats, 32 oz bag. This is my preferred gluten-free oat product for this recipe. Bob's GF quick cooking oats are perfect because they come out tender and crunchy, unlike rolled gluten-free oats, which tend to be more chewy and hard to break down. The economy size of the bag shown above yields many servings. I used it to make two batches of granola, and I still have nearly half a bag of uncooked oats left!
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