Granola is crunchy and delicious; a favorite indulgence of kids and adults alike. But granola can be seriously not good for you! High in added sugar and processed fats, makes purchasing granola a bit tricky. In fact, I’ve never found a granola that doesn’t contain any added sugar; so I made my own. Granola still packs a punch of calories, but in this recipe they are all “good calories”; the kind of calories that work for you, not against you. Partner this granola with a bowl of berries or diced fruit and few spoons of plain yogurt and you’ve got a filling breakfast or snack.
Granola is surprisingly easy to make yourself. Not only is granola expensive nutritionally, it’s also hard on the pocketbook. Make your own to save some cals and some cash.
I saw a recipe online that made a paste from dates to naturally sweeten the granola, which I thought was a great idea, but I didn’t have dates. I made mine with raisins because I didn’t have any dates.
*Note: Ingredients with an asterisk need to be confirmed gluten-free for those with celiac.
Vanilla Walnut Raisin Granola
- 1/4 cup raisins*
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut*
- 2 cups rolled oats*
- 1/2 cup raisins*
- 1/2 cup canola oil (non-GMO)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water, if needed
- Canola oil (non-GMO) to oil the baking pan
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, simmer 1/4 cup raisins and water. Once plump and softened, puree in a blender to make a paste.
- Mix the walnuts, coconut, oats, 1/2 cup raisins, canola oil, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon with the raisin puree.
- Add a bit of water to moisten the granola.
- Prepare an 8″x11″ baking dish with canola oil or cooking spray
- Spread the granola into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes or if the edges get brown.
- Store in an airtight container.
Here it is in the baking dish ready to bake.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan
Makes about 16 servings; per 1/4 cup serving:
70 calories, 7 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams natural sugar, 0 grams added sugar, 3 grams protein
Keep in mind that granola can be super simple. This weekend I didn’t have a lot of time, or ingredients, but I really didn’t want to spend $6 on another puny bag of gluten-free granola. Rather than stressing over the specialty dried fruit and sunflower seeds I didn’t have, I used the oats and pecans that I did have. First, I simmered a large handful of raisins in about 1/2 cup water until they were plump, almost falling apart. I just set that on the back burner of the stove while I was doing other things around the house.
Once the raisins were nice and soft, I let them cool a bit while I mixed up the oats, pecans and cinnamon. I like to put a lot of nuts in my granola so that it is filling and satifying. Without the healthy fats from the nuts, the carbohydrate from the oats and fruit just is sustaining. Don’t worry about how much nuts or oats, just do what seems like a mix you’d like to eat.
Next, blend the raisins and water into a puree and pour the raisin puree over the oats and pecans. Add extra flavor with cinnamon and vanilla. I finished my granola off with a drizzle of non-GMO canola oil and threw it in the oven. Simple and delish!