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Nut-Free Granola, or Misdirection and the Essentials

Nut Free Granola
(FYI: I made this recipe on our local morning TV show, Good Things Utah. Check out this post for the details and to watch the clip!)
While on our recent camping trip, I was getting dressed in the tent trailer early one morning and I could hear the people in the campground next to us talking around their campfire. I wasn’t paying much attention to most of what they were saying, but I did hear one thing. By her tone this woman was obviously a mom talking to her child, and I heard her say, “No, you can’t eat candy right now, you need some breakfast first. Now come here and decide, do you want Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch?”
And oh, I cringed inside! The two cereal options she gave contain more sugar than the candy that child was trying to eat, and it will do the exact same thing to his/her blood sugar! Nutritionally, if the candy in question contained chocolate and/or nuts, it was probably more nutritious than the cereal being offered.
The cereal aisle is the most dangerous aisle in the grocery store. Nowhere else in the store are you lied to so blatantly, or tricked so completely. I could go on and on about the ingredients in cereal and the “nutritional” statements on the packaging, but the fact is that if you do find yourself in the cereal aisle, your best bet would be to grab a container of rolled oats (not instant, not the kind in the nifty packages with all the artificial flavorings added, but the ones that are hiding on the very bottom shelf) and then get out of there, quick!
But cereal is the perfect quick breakfast, snack, and for some people even dinner. So what do you do?
Do you have those items in your pantry that if you are out of them you start to panic, or at least start to make a shopping list because there is just absolutely nothing in the house to eat? For most people that list would include bread or eggs or milk, but for me granola pretty much tops that list.
In fact, granola is the only cereal in our house. Of course, with Sweetheart’snut allergies, it’s hard to find a kind that is safe for her to eat. Plus, if you check out the ingredients in store bought granola, there are a lot of questionable things there, too. Thankfully I found this recipe for granola, and I have adapted it a bunch to fit our family’s allergies and preferences.
Nut-Free Granola
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-1/2 cups rolled oats, not instant or quick-cooking, as thick cut as you can get them
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed meal.
  • 1 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (usually found at health food stores, or you can do what I did and buy a whole coconut and make your own)
  • 1 cup seeds, I usually do all raw sunflower seeds, but you can do pumpkin or a mix of the two.
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Heat the butter and honey together in a small pan on the stove until the butter is melted and the honey is warm.
  3. In a large bowl combine the oats, flaxseed, coconut, seeds, cinnamon and ginger.
  4. When the butter mixture is ready, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and combine well.
  5. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake for 75 minutes. While this is baking your house will smell like heaven!
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, break up and put into an airtight container. Will store for up to 2 weeks, but don't worry, it probably won't last that long!

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