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Granola and a Lesson on Living Gluten Free, with Bonus Mir (not the space ship)

Categories: Cooking, Food



Do you hear the heavenly angels singing?
One of the things that I have missed since going gluten free is granola. I loved granola. Oats, while they themselves do not contain gluten, are almost always contaminated in the processing. And so no oats.

Recently I had read about gluten free oats. Oats that were grown and processed in such a way that they never came into contact with wheat. Upon researching this I found that McCanns oats were used by many celiacs with no problems, even those who were extremely sensitive to gluten. It is available in the regular grocery store and doesn’t cost a million dollars. So I thought I would give it a try.


Not to mention that it comes in a very cool tin container that my daughter is excited to steal for her pretend kitchen.

I am not an expert or a doctor so if you are gluten free your mileage may vary. I ate some earlier and so far no reaction.

If you are not gluten free, you can just ignore all the previous paragraphs and then eat some processed food for me, okay?

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:


Preheat oven to 250 degrees

5 cups oats ( I used steel cut, you can use rolled oats, NOT the quick cook or instant kind. If I were not gluten free I would use rolled oats as they are less crunchy and I generally prefer the texture.)
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced dates (I slice them myself as the ones already sliced are dusted with flour)

1/2 cup sliced dried apricots

1/2 cup milled flax seed
1 cup honey
Stick of Fleishman’s unsalted margarine, or butter, or 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

Pour the oats and sliced almonds in a large bowl.


This is the milled flax seed. Apparently this stuff is good for you and does not effect the taste of baked things. So I thought, what the hell, toss it in.


Add the shredded coconut. I used sweetened coconut since I could not find any shredded unsweetened and there was no way that I was going to buy a whole coconut and do it myself. It is roughly 3/4 cup.


Melt the butter or margarine and pour it into a large bowl.


Mix in the honey. Stick your finger under the honey stream to make sure it tastes good. Once done measuring lick the measuring cup. Hit anyone on the head with it who tries to pry it out of your fingers. Unless you are over 4 years old, in which case just hold it over your head while you dance around the room.


Add the ingredients from the dry bowl into this bowl. Realize you forgot the salt and add it to the top of the dry ingredients before you fold all of it together.


Stir it all up together. Take a few tastes to make sure that it tastes good. Take another taste just to be sure.


Spead it on a cookie sheet with sides, or a any sort of baking dish.


Put it into the oven. Set your timer for 15 minutes.


After 15 minutes, go and stir the granola up in the baking dish.


Measure out your dried fruit. Like the cranberries, apricots, raisins…


and dates. I have only recently discovered that I love dates. Oh dates, where have you been all my life? I suddenly sound like my 14 year old awkward braces and training bra wearing, awkward limbed, bad hair self. At least these days I no longer wear braces.


Fifteen minutes is up, go stir the granola again. Grab a small taste just to be sure that the oven is working properly. You have 15 more minutes to kill before you need to stir it again.

I’ll entertain you with a conversation I had with our very own MIR about granola:

mir: I made granola and it rocks.
mir: but I doctored it a whole bunch.
mir: used walnuts instead of cashews and almonds (much cheaper)
mir: used honey instead of maple syrup (also cheaper)
mir: plus in addition to the cup of raisins I added some dates

chris: I doctored it too.
chris: we are like those people on those recipe sites
chris: you know the ones who review the recipes giving it 5 stars and then say I changed this and this and this
chris: and it no longer resembles the same recipe
mir:hahahah YES
mir: I see that all the time, too
chris: They start off with a chicken recipe and suddenly they are making pasta
chris: But they still give it 5 stars


Hey, your 15 minutes have passed. Time to go stir the granola again. Go on, I’ll wait.

mir: what did you change?
Chris: I used margarine instead of oil
mir: how come?
Chris: for it’s buttery goodness
mir: ROFL
Chris: I used steel cut oats
Chris: dates
Chris: cranberries
Chris: almonds
Chris: no other nuts


Yup, stir it again. Go on.

mir: I also added half a cup of flax meal
mir: which is a total superfood
mir: and well-suited to this because it’s nutty-tasting
Chris: it sounds…..healthy
mir: very
mir: I hide it in EVERYTHING
Chris: I do that with bacon
mir: hahahaha
mir: it’s full of omega-3s
mir: easy to hide in baked goods, etc.
Chris: Like bacon
Chris: well that sounds suspiciously good for you
Chris: I’ll just substitute some bacon grease
mir: hahahaha
mir: it’s supposed to ease menopause symptoms, too
Chris: Bacon too.
Chris: Probably because it will clog your arteries and kill you before you reach menopause.
Chris: But that is a minor point.

After an hour and half it will be done cooking in the oven. Take it out and while it is still warm add the dried fruit and mix it up. Don’t wait, because it hardens and then you won’t be able to mix it.


Let it cool. Or not.

Sprinkle it on top of your favorite vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream.


mir: I hear it freezes well, too
Chris: someone told me that today
Chris: Because of course I was telling everyone I came across about my granola
Chris: and I was like WHY NOT JUST EAT IT?
mir: ahahahaha

It is delicious, if I do say so myself. The beauty of this recipe is that you can change the ingredients to suit your whims, which is why I included my IMs with Mir. We both started with the same recipe and changed it. There is no right or wrong. Have fun with it.

granola 13

Granola so yummy it will knock your pants clean off. And possibly turn your underwear around backward in the process.

What could be better than that?

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25 comments so far...

  • So. Very. Funny.

    Susan  |  January 31st, 2008 at 10:34 pm

  • Well that sound delicious and flax seed sounds wonderful cos’ who needs menopause, not me.

    Maddy  |  January 31st, 2008 at 10:56 pm

  • rofl i loved that you also tagged it ‘bacon’ when really it has NO BACON!

    your pics are the best, so want to just eat that yogurt w/ your granola topping!!!

    do you think adding it to icecream would then make icecream ‘health food’?

    Chris says: Well, I figured that I did mention bacon. ;-) Yes, it does make the ice cream even more healthy, because clearly it is made from cream which is good for you.

    Kate  |  January 31st, 2008 at 11:08 pm

  • That looks delicious! Also… please tell me that your heat has been turned up. Is your son really in his undies in a 50something degree house?


    Chris says: No, my heat isn’t turned up. But this is the breakfast room right near the family room with the wood stove AND the oven was going in the kitchen So it was probably at least 65 in this room. And that is HOT by our standards.

    Also, I don’t make him sit there in his undies, he chose to do so. And I am all about natural consequences. If he were cold he’d put clothing on.

    Divrchk  |  January 31st, 2008 at 11:46 pm

  • Dawg! you got my hopes up with this one. Granola…gluten free… I was tested for Celiac two February’s ago. It turned out it wasn’t gluten, but oats that I have an intolerance too. I miss granola so bad, but I guess it is better than missing all wheat.

    Just Beachy  |  February 1st, 2008 at 12:35 am

  • I’m going to give this a try. It looks terrific. The last time I made granola I was pregnant, and my enormous belly brushed up against the oven knobs when I opened the door to give the granola a stir. Unknown to me, my belly turned the oven up to 550. Ten minutes later the house is full of smoke and the alarms are screaming. I’ve kind of been put off granola since then. Maybe it’s time to get back on the horse.

    AliceM  |  February 1st, 2008 at 1:30 am

  • Crazy! I made granola today and substituted the flax for part of the oil in the recipe. It was yummy. I’ve eat so much of it today that I hate to think of how my digestive tract is going to handle it all. Oh well…it was good goin’ down!

    Angela  |  February 1st, 2008 at 2:19 am

  • My 3 year old consistently sports backward underwear. Glad to see he’s not alone.

    Anne  |  February 1st, 2008 at 3:01 am

  • For what it’s worth, I did have a reaction to McCann’s so do be careful for the Celiac’s out there. Bob’s Red Mill makes a certified gluten-free oatmeal. Here on the West coast you can find it at the store. I don’t know about out East but I do believe you can order it online.

    Chris says: And I have had trouble with Bob’s Red Mill, as have a number of other celiacs. I have NOT tried their oatmeal though. I definitely recommend trying a small amount, i.e not eating the entire pan the first day you make it. ;-)

    Lucinda  |  February 1st, 2008 at 3:16 am

  • oh my heck, I was just rifling my recipe box for my old granola recipe now that I can eat Mccans and of course I must have burned it when I first freaked out about having to give up gluten. I know what I’ll be making tomorrow

    fidget  |  February 1st, 2008 at 3:59 am

  • Now that you know that you love dates, you need to buy the pitted ones, stuff them with a matchstick of parmesan cheese, and then wrap it in 1/3 slice of bacon. Then cook until the bacon is done. 350 degree oven. MMMMMmmmmm.

    Jules  |  February 1st, 2008 at 4:56 am

  • I make my own granola but I didn’t know you could use steal cut oats. I might have to throw some in the next batch.

    I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to stir it while it’s cooking. I press mine into the pan, leave it alone and it gets crunchy through and through. I also cook it on 350 for about 30 minutes.

    I’m addicted to the stuff. I make three batches at a time and freeze it although it doesn’t last long enough around here to really need the freezing.

    The Lazy Organizer  |  February 1st, 2008 at 5:41 am

  • That sounds delicious.
    Backwards undies while you eat granola is all the rage, you know.

    peepnroosmom  |  February 1st, 2008 at 11:46 am

  • Hey, I recognize that oatmeal! It’s my father’s favorite!! There is always a can of that stuff in his pantry. We cooked some and ate it the last time I visited him, over Xmas. It is so yummy and so way far different from the Quakery type oats you can buy. Thumbs up, plus your recipe looks TOTALLY SCRUMPTIOUS.

    Molly  |  February 1st, 2008 at 12:06 pm

  • I have all the ingredients required, but will be leaving out the nuts as I am allergic to them in my old age.

    I’ll IM you and let you know how it turns out.

    jody  |  February 1st, 2008 at 2:04 pm

  • [...] now, I am off to my kitchen with the kids to make granola. I am hoping my underwear stays [...]

    and baby makes 6! » Letting go of control  |  February 1st, 2008 at 4:41 pm

  • Oh my god that looks SO good. I may have to make it this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

    arduous  |  February 1st, 2008 at 6:02 pm

  • I have seen those little cans in the regular grocery store. I have an unopened bag of certified GF from whole foods I have to go through first. I haven’t opened it yet though. We’ve been doing so well over here staying away from oats I’m scared to jinx it.
    and trader joe’s sells realy cheap GF granola in three flavors…
    TJ’s freaks me out—the stuff is SO cheap that it’s cheaper than making it yourself. But I remember you not liking TJs. We have one within walking distance so I’m obviously jaded.
    Do you have peanut allergies, too? if not, their GF peanutbutter cookie dough is amazing.

    Chris says: Nope, no peanut allergies. THANK GOD.

    crockpot lady  |  February 1st, 2008 at 8:18 pm

  • What about the coconut? Can I make it without the coconut and still give it five stars?

    Daisy  |  February 2nd, 2008 at 1:49 am

  • This is fantastic! I’m going to try it with bacon and chicken instead of the oats, penne pasta instead of the dates and other fruit, and pesto instead of the honey. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m really going to make it just like you did, and to be totally honest I will probably consult the photos throughout.

    Elizabeth  |  February 2nd, 2008 at 5:45 pm

  • I made this, and I love it. I don’t think I have every eaten anything this healthy before, I even put organic flax seed in it, but I am pretty sure my body will reject it because it is not potato chips or something like that. Even so I loved it, thank you for the recipe.

    wendyvhz  |  February 6th, 2008 at 4:31 am

  • I was slightly scared of the steel cut oats, looked a tiny bit like bird food, but I kept going. I had been reading about flax seed and looking for recipes with it. As a bonus, my kids found out they liked dates. I’ve never tried one in my life, knowing I would hate them, but I didn’t die like I thought I would as a child. Really tasty, I’m substituting it for all my sugary treats I gave up for Lent. Thanks for the recipe.

    Kris  |  February 8th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

  • I made this two days ago and it’s FABULOUS, Girlie!

    One question….do I have to refridgerate it (since it has all that yummy butter in it and all)?

    Thanks for sharin’!

    Chris says: Hmmm, I didn’t refrigerate it. But if you were going to have it around for a long time it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to store it in the fridge.

    Jennifer  |  February 12th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

  • I just made it and it’s delicious. I also made the granola bars, but mine weren’t nearly as pretty as yours.

    But, wow, they both taste really good

    Corrie  |  March 6th, 2008 at 2:45 am

  • Thank you for the recipe! I just got around to making this (pure laziness on my part!) and it won’t harden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super fabulous, but the substitutions I did were w/ nuts and fruits, not the base of the granola. Help!

    celes  |  September 2nd, 2008 at 3:20 pm