Monday, April 17, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola- Vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar free

Hi guys!  Happy Easter!  Hope you all had a wonderful time with your families and friends.  Today's recipe doesn't scream springtime, but its a homey treat that everyone will enjoy, no matter what time of year it is.


Is it possible to make nutritious granola that has all the flavor of a rich, oatmeal raisin cookie?  The answer is yes!!  You just gotta nail the most important factors of the cookies.


1.  The Chew-Crunch Factor
Arguably the most important part of a stellar cookie, the chew-crunch factor is essential.  All it means is that, in my opinion, the best cookies are those that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle.  In this granola, the oats add hearty crunch while the raisins add sticky chew.


2.  The Sweet Factor
A cookie isn't a true cookie unless it's sweet.  That's why in order to give the granola a healthy dose of sweetness, I used maple syrup in lieu of brown sugar.

3.  The Rich Factor
Y'all know that a good cookie is rich and buttery.  It seems impossible to make a cookie-like granola rich AND healthy, but it's possible.  All I did was use a bit of canola oil instead of butter.  This gives the granola umami, which if you've seen my post on spring rolls ,  is explained.  In case you missed that post or forgot the fancy lingo, umami is basically how your taste buds perceive rich, fatty flavor.  For example, a good burger is full of umami.  Likewise, canola oil adds  richness to this cookie-like granola.

4.  The Toasty Factor
Last, but by no means least, another crucial element of a great cookie is toastiness.  This is especially true for oatmeal raisin cookies.  For this recipe, maple syrup adds toasty sweetness as does molasses.  Though there's only 1 tablespoon of molasses in this granola, it lends this amazing toasty flavor that is signature of a good oatmeal raisin cookie.

So there you have it!  That's all the elements of a good oatmeal raisin cookie packed into a hearty granola.

I didn't compose this delicious recipe; I slightly tweaked it from a great gluten-free cookbook:  "The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families" by Pamela Ellgen.  I got this cookbook as a gift from my cousin and her husband (Hi Eric and Tina 😊!)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola
  • ·       6 cups gluten-free oats
  • ·       1 cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
  • ·       5 T. canola oil
  • ·       5 T. maple syrup
  • ·       1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ·       1 T. ground cinnamon
  • ·       1/8 tsp. salt
  • ·       1 T. molasses
  • ·       1 cup raisins

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2.  In a large bowl, stir together the oats and the walnuts.
3.  In small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
4.  Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and stir to coat them thoroughly.
5.  Spread the oats of a rimmed baking sheet.
6.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
7.  Use a spatula to stir the granola so that the granola on the edges moves toward the middle and 8.  the granola that was facing down on the sheet is facing up.
9.  Bake for 5 minutes more.
10.  Stir again.
11.  Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture is golden brown.
12.  Slightly cool the mixture before stirring in the raisins.
13.  Store the granola in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (if it lasts that long 😉!)

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