Crunchy. Really? Is that what they call people who do things like bake their own bread, grow their own veggies, and use cloth diapers on their baby’s behinds? If that’s the case, the generations before us must have been one crunchy bunch, because that is just the way life was then, out of necessity. They didn’t run to the store for everything, they had to grow what you could and barter for the rest. They preserved your bounty. They sewed clothing, altering and mending as necessary. They knew their neighbors. They knew where their food came from. And most importantly, they knew what was in their food. After all, theyd just spent months growing it, harvesting it, and then preparing it. Today, knowing where your food comes from is more difficult. It is possible though. Growing your own garden is a huge step in that direction. Shopping local farmer’s markets is another. But preparing your own food at home is the easiest way to connect with your food. This is the concept behind Food Revolution Day.
Food Revolution Day was started by Jamie Oliver, who is a ‘back-to-basics’ chef from the UK. Jamie believes that good food can be simple – his recipes are basic, using fresh, in-season ingredients that are packed with flavour. Cooking food from scratch will benefit your family. Even if you don’t have the time to cook from scratch every night, doing it when you can will not only provide your family with a healthier meal, it will also teach your kids where food comes from. Eating gluten-free, we have a benefit in this area, I think. Due to high prices and low availability of processed foods, we already do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch. Because of that, our families eat healthier, home-cooked meals. Our kids know what raw ingredients look like, and hopefully where they come from.
Instead of buying pre-made granola, where the sugar & fat levels are unknown, I have decided to make my own Homemade Gluten Free Granola. Not only because it is healthier and delicious, but because I can also customize it to suit my tastes. This recipe is based on one that was given to me by my friend Jackie, who, together with her husband Jim, runs Fern Glen Inn, a beautiful bed & breakfast in Ontario’s naturally beautiful Almaguin Highlands. Beyond having beautiful accommodations in a picture perfect setting, Jackie serves the most amazing breakfasts. Along with fresh fruit, home baked goods, and a hot entrée, Jackie often has homemade granola on hand for the guests to indulge in. Served with cold or warm milk, or sprinkled on top of some tangy yogurt, I know her guests have enjoyed the granola she has prepared for them. As a side note – if you are ever in Jackie’s neck of the woods, she also caters to those with special dietary needs, so a gluten-free breakfast is not an issue for her. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe with me, Jackie. I’ve altered it a bit to suit our tastes, and to make it gluten-free, of course.
- 3 1/2 cups gluten-free whole grain rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup coconut chips (large flakes)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted nuts, such as sliced almonds or chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds or pepitas
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, mango, pineapple
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large (13″x20″) baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients (minus the fruit) until evenly combined.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together all wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir until evenly moistened.
- Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well.
- Return granola to the oven and continue to bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is golden and dry, about 50 minutes total baking time.
- Remove granola from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the dried fruit. Stir. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. The granola will keep for a month or more. Enjoy!
Homemade Granola can be eaten as is, served with cold, or warm, milk, sprinkled on top of yogurt, or baked into muffins. What is your favorite way to eat granola?