Recently, we got rid of all of the boxed cereal in our house. (FINALLY.) Michael Height, sweet adventurous guy that he is, has taken on a commitment to quit sugar (a la I Quit Sugar) for the month of August. So, when the last of his Panda Puffs and Nature's Path cereal were finished up last week, I didn't go out of my way to purchase more. Instead, I decided I would make a batch of crunchy, carby, breakfasty goodness from scratch -- something that I knew would be in line with his month-long goal and also something I knew would be free of corn, soy, wheat, and packaging... mainly because I am so eager to get the last vestiges of these things out of our home as soon as possible. There aren't many left, but I get a funny sense of accomplishment every time we manage to swap in a whole food for something that (ordinarily) would come out of a package.
And so, the birth of this buttery smooth granola... with just enough gorgeous crunch and varied texture to make it feel like it came from a box. Or maybe your grandma's farmhouse circa 1930. Either way, it's yummy. It's also vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free, as it's sweetened with a touch of brown rice syrup (fun fact! not sugar! actually a starch derivative that happens to taste sweet!).
So, this is dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, wheat-free and yeast-free. The best part about being free of common allergens and irritants? Foods that don't irritate the body allow it to shed accumulated toxins and move stagnation in our organ systems. If the body needs to expend less effort to correct its imbalances or move through sludge or inflammation, it can do all of its other tasks far more efficiently. Read: more energy, better digestion, better elimination, clearer skin, clearer brain.
All of that is the result of not packing our bodies full of sugar and other things it can't use? Cool. Especially when the alternative is yummy!
I would recommend encouraging this to clump a little when you take it out of the oven to turn it. Use a spoon to gently 'squish' pieces together; the oil and the brown rice syrup will hold the separate ingredients together in their nice toasty state. If you prefer, keep it loose! It'll have more of a muesli texture but still taste pretty darn good. Have an eye, too, for the last 5-10 minutes of baking, just to ensure it doesn't burn. Every oven is different... and a burnt granola isn't a great granola.
Store at room temperature in a sealed glass container and break out with some almond milk for a quickie breakfast. This would also be great added to a smoothie for a little extra chewiness [do you love a toothsome smoothie? I sure do], tossed on top of some coconut yogurt or packed into a little reuseable snack cup [I like these from Kids Konserve and U-Konserve] for a whole-food refuel.
What kind of cereal is in your home right now? Take a peek at the label and see what your body might be happier going without. Bonus: that means there will be more room in your life/ your pantry for whole ingredients!
- 5 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid (room temperature should be fine)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350F.
- 2. Combine oats, seeds, nuts and coconut in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- 3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm your brown syrup until it becomes runny. Pour over your oat mixture.
- 4. Add melted coconut oil.
- 5. Stir everything together until evenly combined.
- 6. Turn out onto 2 foil-lined baking sheets and transfer to the oven. Bake for ~40 minutes until golden brown, turning once about 20 minutes in.
- 7. Remove from the oven and let cool before transferring to glass storage containers.