Pandemic Granola

Gluten-free, delicious, and easy to make at home while weathering the pandemic.

Few things in life are more satisfying than home-cooked meals. If you’re lucky enough to have access to decent groceries during the pandemic, or any time really, then taking the time to prepare food at home is rewarding on so many levels:

  1. The time spent cooking can be meditative and enjoyable.
  2. The result can be as tasty, if not more tasty, than pre-made, delivered or packaged meals.
  3. The nutritional value in freshly-cooked food is, generally speaking, higher.
  4. You can customize dishes with spice levels, sweetness, etc to suit your own tastes.

In this case the recipe is so simple and takes so little time, and yet is so delicious that my wife and kids ask me repeatedly to make it whenever we run out. It feels good to give my wife a reprieve from food preparation and to have food that I prepare be so sought-after. Whatever may come tomorrow, be a deadly infection or just another day, at least I have control over one thing: making today the best it can be.

That starts with this amazing granola :)

Let’s be frank: my skill in the kitchen is limited to finding great recipes, following them, and reaping the benefits. Credit for this recipe goes to cookieandkate.com.

That link provides details and alternates that I won’t describe here. This is just my version (did I mention it’s really really good?)

Ingredients

Dry

  • 4 cups old-fashioned gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Wet

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1/2 cup (just under) maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 fresh lemon

After cooling

  • 2/3 cup dried fruit, chopped if large

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a large, rimmed pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix well so every oat and nut is covered.
  5. Use a large spoon or spatula to spread the mixture evenly into the pan, covering the entire surface in as thin a layer as the pan will allow.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.
  7. Stir fairly thoroughly and press back into a flat layer.
  8. Bake for another 12 minutes but watch carefully at the end, to prevent over-browning. Depends on your oven.
  9. Let cool undisturbed for 1 hour. It crisps up during this cooking period. Picking at it while it’s cooling is counter-productive ;)
  10. Mix in dried fruit after cooling.

The thing about this granola is the light crispy texture. The pecans turn into light, fluffy flavour explosions and the almonds are just toasted enough to give some crunch with none of the almond-toughness.

Store in an airtight container. Apparently it’s good for 1-2 weeks but we’ve never had it last that long LOL!