orange and date granola

Call me crazy, but I feel complete when I have a batch of homemade granola stashed in my pantry. Store-bought doesn’t give me even the slightest bit of satisfaction. Sure it is easier and sometimes it even tastes okay, but store-bought granola in my pantry reminds me that I’m a busy mom and I can’t do it all. (Not something I like to willingly admit). It reminds me that sometimes I cut corners and sometimes I don’t feed my kids right. But…Homemade granola – I feel like superwomen. Seriously, give it a try the next time you are feeling like life is just getting to be too much…. make a batch of granola and then feel the glory every time you open the cupboard.   “Look – I even had time to make some granola!”

I think I have finally perfected granola.  For years I believed good granola needed oil or butter to make it really crunchy and yummy.  I was so wrong!

This granola uses brown rice syrup with a little bit of OJ for flavor.  That’s it.  And it is the most crunchy and crisp granola I have ever made.

I used a mix of spelt, kamut and oat flakes here.  I like the size of the spelt and kamut.  I don’t detect a noticeable flavour difference –  but I like the fact that the flakes are more substantial in size.  They give breakfast a little more character.

SPELT GRANOLA with orange and dates

  • 6 cups oat/kamut/spelt flakes, I used:
    • 2 cups kamut
    • 2 cups spelt
    • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • juice of half an orange  (or enough to make 1 cup of liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (totally optional, I like the aroma and extra spice)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 275 degrees and find a large baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet. (You can line them with parchment paper to make clean up really easy, but it really is not necessary especially with ceramic or glass baking dishes).

In a large bowl mix together all rolled grains.

In a small sauce pan: mix together rice syrup and orange juice (enough OJ to bring to 1 cup of liquid) and bring to a boil.  Add cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, orange zest and salt and boil for another minute.

Pour syrup over flakes, mix well, ensuring all grains are evenly coated.

Pour into your large baking dish and bake at 275 for 40-50 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning. Bake until the gains become toasted and slightly crunchy.  They will get crispier as they cool.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking… when the grains are looking almost done… add the almonds.  Watch the almonds carefully, the idea is to just give them the slightest bit of colour.  They will burn in a flash, so don’t take your eyes off them.  They will also continue to cook as they sit in the hot granola once out of the oven – so just be careful and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Remove from the oven, add flax seeds and dates.  Stir well and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This will keep for several weeks.