Today we were outside enjoying our morning coffee when the wind started blowing and moved us inside. We thought it was a good time to whip up a batch of our Grain-Free Granola and share it on the blog. My friend Sherrie, who lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state, and I came across a packaged grain-free granola that we both loved. But wow, it was expensive! So I decided to make my own and promised her I would share the recipe. So Sherrie, it’s a year late, but this one's for you! Enjoy!
- 2 cups Macadamia nuts (roasted, salted)
- 2 cups Pecans (raw, shelled)
- 1 cups blanched hazelnuts (not salted)
- 1 cups Sunflower seeds (shelled, not salted)
- 3 cups sliced Almonds (natural, not salted)
- 3 cups unsweetened Coconut chips
- 1 cup Organic Palm Sugar
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1-2 TBLS Honey
- Zest of 3-4 Oranges
- Juice of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Chop all nuts and mix together in large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread nut mixture evenly over prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking time.
I buy nuts, coconut chips and palm coconut sugar online from Nuts.com. I love the quality and variety of their products, but you can buy from anywhere. Just be careful that the nuts you buy are fresh and don't come salted, which would overwhelm the granola. Only the macadamia nuts are salted and roasted, everything else is pretty much shelled and raw.
The amounts of most of the ingredients in this recipe are completely flexible. If you don't like one type, leave it out and double up on your favorite. Easy!
The same goes for flavorings. You can use almond extract, or any flavor you like. You can double the amount of palm sugar or use none at all. Use more cinnamon or leave it out! It's up to you.
Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed together, the zest, extract, honey and orange juice serve to bind together the dry ingredients. If you need additional moisture, add a bit of melted coconut oil. It should just feel slightly moist to the touch, not wet!
Taste as you go! Nibble after you've added a flavoring to make sure you've added enough. I love the zest, so I add a lot of it, but you can start with one orange and add more if you want it. The same goes for cinnamon, add a little, taste, add some more. Keep in mind that baking this mixture, which is essentially roasting the nuts, adds a TON of flavor. So even though you can and should taste as you go, the granola out of the oven will be loaded with roasted nutty yumminess.
I bake in batches because my convection oven is tiny. The good thing about batches is that you can adjust your flavorings after the first batch is done. I've been known to add more honey or orange. I just want to make sure I don't overwhelm the entire mixture. In the end, after it cools, I add it all together anyway.
Because I make a giant batch when I do cook this recipe, I keep my granola in the freezer to keep it fresh. It is also great frozen. :) And, try it as a topping on ice cream, it's delish!
Since we are currently in Michigan, cherry capital of the universe according to some, we decided to make a Michigan version of our granola. To the very last batch we added about 1 oz. of cherry concentrate, gave it a good mix and baked it just as we had the ones before it. The concentrate added a beautiful dark and rich color to this batch. As it was cooling, we added dried cherries. OMG. It is so delicious, we’re thinking the next time we make our granola, we’ll make the whole recipe cherry-flavored.
If you come up with any other interesting flavor profiles, let me know. Enjoy!