Gluten Free Granola on a Dime
Monday, July 11, 2011
Well... $3.83 actually. After buying Gluten-Free granola this weekend while we were up in the mountains and then pricing it down here in Denver, I decided that as expensive as GF Oats are, SURELY I could make it myself for cheaper. And I did. I researched several recipes, gathering data from Clean Eating, Spark People, Alton Brown & All Recipes.com, as well as looking at ingredient lists on the backs of GF granola bags. Most used sugar AND honey (or maple syrup) and I didn't see that it needed to be that sweet. Most used some type of oil - canola, safflower, vegetable oil - sometimes to excess. Most had calories in the range of 200-300 per 1/4 cup serving. I decided that even though the majority of calories were coming from the healthy nuts, I could do better.
My first try is dang good, if I do say so myself, but I can make it better I'm sure. I used only the following ingredients...
Pure Maple Syrup
Safflower Oil (and a small amount at that)
Sea Salt (I tried to omit this, but it is definately needed to heighten the taste of the oats & nuts)
It rolled in at $3.83/lb (compare to $6-8/lb for packaged GF Granola) and
260 calories for 1/2 cup. Some of the recipes/store brands I saw were twice that! I've come to the conclusion that there is just no way to make a decent granola with low calories - but since I consider it a treat (vs. a staple), this is somewhere I could splurge!
1. I'll try coconut oil instead of safflower. Frankly you could taste the safflower oil a bit. If I'm going to taste oil in my granola, I'd like to like the taste. Plus the cocnut oil is just so much better for you.
2. I think I'll try two types of nuts. Walnuts were all I had on hand today, but maybe cashews or pecans or almonds next time... (or coconut or sunflower seeds...)
3. I didn't think it was too sweet, but I'm wondering if I could go lower on the maple syrup without noticing much difference. One recipe recommended using apple juice concentrate. Maybe I'll do a little playing around with the sweetening agent.
4. Adding some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) would be a benefit too, but I'm just trying to get my basic recipe down before I start making different "flavors" (orange rind and nutmeg comes to mind...)