Sugar Free Honey Pecan Granola (Bars)
(Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free - Elimination Diet Friendly)
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There was a time in the not so distant past that everything I ate was sugar, gluten,dairy & soy free. And while I'm not ready to fully devote myself to that again (I'm currently in an intense love affair with Fage Greek yogurt) it was a time in my life where I never felt healthier, and I do want that feeling back. So my goal is to post more recipes that adhere to this way of eating, or can at least be adapted to do so.
This is a recipe I found several months ago and have adapted to be sugar free simply by substituting the brown sugar for coconut sugar (the honey keeps it plenty sweet.) And in true Emily-fashion, I have to tweak the flavors a bit. This time I halved the recipe as they last about 2 weeks and Jony and I weren't ready to commit to granola every morning for 14 days straight. They are perfect year around but I especially like the warm nutty, salty, spicy flavor with hot tea or sprinkled over greek yogurt during the colder months 🙂
- 3.5 cups rolled oats (If you want to be truly gluten free be sure your oats SAY it on the bag - Although oats are naturally gluten free they tend to be processed in plants that also process wheat.)
- 1/4 cup safflower oil (you can use vegetable - but I never use that junk anymore 😉
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans (or almonds, or walnuts, or whatever)
- 3/8 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg (I prefer a pod and grater to the store-bought kind)
- the zest of one small orange
- Really you could experiment a lot with the flavors here - be creative 🙂
- Preheat oven with rack in the middle to 375 F & line a baking sheet with foil.
- Combine oats, oil and salt well, spread on baking sheet and bake for approx. 20 minutes, stirring half way through. The goal is for the oats to be nice and toasty - the smell is amazing! When you pull them oat turn your oven down to 300 F.
- In a small saucepan combine your honey and sugar and continue to stir over medium heat until sugar completely melts (coconut sugar takes longer than cain sugar to dissolve - about 5-7 minutes - don't let it burn!)
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, spices, and zest.
- Combine oats, nuts and sweet/spicy mixture and toss until well until completely coated.
- Pour just a tad of safflower oil on your lined baking sheet and spread with fingers until well coated (you can use the spray - but I try to stay away from that stuff too)
- Pour granola mixture onto baking sheet and:
- For BARS - pack down tight! You may want to coat the bottom of a another flat pan with oil and smush it on top to pack those suckers in there.
- For GRANOLA - just spread evenly but don't pack down - you will get natural clusters that you can break apart later.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes; let cools for 10-15 minutes then crumble up granola or slice bars. (If you wait too long to slice you will have one giant granola bar!) As they cool further they will tighten up more.
They should keep in a ziplock back or sealed bowl on the counter for about 2 weeks. Enjoy!
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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 12/03/2016