A couple of months ago I found a recipe for homemade granola via David Lebovitz's blog, which he has crowned his favorite granola recipe. Multiple batches have churned through our kitchen over the past few months and it has quickly become a staple in our household. What makes this recipe unique is the combination of almonds, wholesome seeds, coconut flakes, ginger and notably the brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is a mild sweetener with a lower glycemic index, which could be advantageous if you are seeking to curb your sugar consumption. However, if you happen to have caught a glimpse food news this week, you may have seen the warnings about findings of arsenic in baby formula via organic brown rice syrup. What I find alarming about this news is the response from the USA Rice Association which stated, "Much of the arsenic in U.S. rice is organic arsenic, the less harmful kind, versus the inorganic type..." Does anyone feel comforted by that statement? Less harmful. Hmmm.
Our jar of brown rice syrup has been tossed out however this recipe remains uncompromised with the substitution of agave nectar which adds its own tilt of virtuous caramel flavors. The recipe yields two pounds which will store well for a month in an air tight container or for several months in the freezer, but I must tell you that it is so good that it won't last that long.
Almond Ginger Granola
Makes about 2 pounds
Adapted from Feast, by Nigella Lawson
- 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
- 3 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup untoasted sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup flax seeds
- 2 cups coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or another unsweetened fruit puree)
- 1/3 cup agave nectar (the original recipe calls for rice syrup)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 cup raisins or any other dried fruit
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- In a very large bowl, mix together the flaked grains or oats, almonds, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds, coconut flakes, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, warm the fruit puree with the agave nectar, honey, and oil.
- Mix the fruit mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly dispersed, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. (If you have ones with sides, often called jelly-roll pans, use them.)
- Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is deep golden brown.
- Remove from oven, then cool completely. Mix in the dried fruit.
- Store the granola in a large, airtight container. It will keep for up to one month.