During our 28-day detox diet, just finished, no wheat was allowed, along with dairy, sugar in any form – yes, that includes chocolate – alcohol, soy, caffeine. Our plates were full of fruits and veggies, rice, some meat, nuts and legumes. A limited repertoire, but a healthy way to eat for a short or even a long while. It feels good to have given cells and organs a break, but mornings were difficult – a smoothie without its yogurt, no toast and jam, an empty coffee cup.
One thing I lusted over during those 28 days was a croissant, and once intentionally walked past Bakery Nouveau as a test. I told myself to just have the damned croissant if I wanted it so badly. I guess my resolve to detox was stronger than my desire for a croissant – I know that’s really, really odd – because I marched on by. You’d think that last Monday morning, free at last, I would have launched myself into the bakery at 6:00 a.m. for coffee and a buttery pastry. But nay. I’m not such a disciplined person when it comes to food, but somehow the re-entry this week has been conservative.
Amazing how many people are gluten-intolerant. We aren’t, but for this detox we went wheat-, gluten-free for the month. I put together this granola that’s so good we might continue with it anyway. Gluten-free oats, Bob’s Red Mill, along with reduced apple cider are key. How can an oat be gluten-free I wondered, but some things you take at face value. Bob has them and I jumped on his bandwagon. (Not so fast. Check out comment below. Apparently some people are intolerant of gluten-free oats.) If gluten isn’t an issue use any oat you like. Quinoa flakes, pumpkin seeds and almonds add a protein kick, coconut and dried fruit for sweet, a pinch of salt, a little oil and reduced apple juice bring it all together. Roasted at low temp for half an hour or so until it’s golden and crispy, yes it’s good for you, but it becomes something you might actually want to eat for breakfast.
A lot of us are interested in avoiding processed and heavily packaged food products, which means that we often cook from scratch. From scratch is a daunting phrase, conjuring visions of blood, sweat and tears in the kitchen, hours of steaming and stirring. As one who usually cooks from scratch let me just say that’s a myth – there’s not much blood involved at all. This granola requires collecting ingredients (available in bulk at some stores), 15 minutes of assembly, and then keeping an eye on the mix while it toasts in the oven. Not such a big deal. Double this recipe and make enough for several weeks.
Great Granola, No Gluten Recipe
Amounts here are suggestions, more or less of anything would be fine, as would additional ingredients and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, flaxseed.
2 1/2 Cups Apple Cider/ 3 -4 C Gluten-free oats/ 1 C Quinoa flakes/ 2/3 C Almonds/ 1/2 C Coconut flakes/ 1 C Raw Pumpkin seeds/ 2 C dried fruit: a combination of raisins, currants, apricots, apples, dates/ 3 T Safflower oil/ 2 t salt.
Place the cider in a small pan, bring to a simmer and reduce to about 1 1/4 cup, fifteen minutes or so – it won’t be syrupy yet, but somewhat thickened. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all other ingredients, drizzle the oil in last and mix it all thoroughly. Add reduced cider and mix again.
Pour onto a parchment lined baking pan and spread out evenly. Stirring every 15 minutes, roast granola in a 325º oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until mixture is crispy and golden and you’re satisfied with its texture. Less time might be required. Dried fruits become crisp during the roasting, so leave them out and add halfway through the roasting if you like.
Though I’m not much of a cereal-eater, I ate this by the handful for a snack, and Bob consumed a lot of it any time of the day with Hemp milk and a banana. In fact, I think I hear its crunch coming from the kitchen right now. Seriously.
(BTW, as of this morning I’m busted on the croissant.)