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Lemony Gluten Free Granola with Goji Berries and Hempseed for Spring

Posted Mar 23 2012 9:55am

Click the photo for a slideshow of our granola!

Meet my amazing friend Lauren - she is beautiful, smart, hilarious, speaks 3 languages fluently: english, spanish and y’all-bonics, and is, in my professional opinion, a wordsmith, a naturally talented baker, oh and did I mention… absolutely hilarious? I’ve known Lauren since the very moment I made an appearance in this world and she’s practically a member of the family. We share a love of: all things food, Aziz Ansari…. and, well that’s pretty much all you need to create a lifelong friendship. So in short, Lauren is awesome and she loves to cook and spending a Sunday afternoon cooking up a storm was a blast. When we were deciding what to make we had to keep in mind that Lauren has  Celiac’s Disease  aka full gluten intolerance, but she craves those gluten-filled foods on a daily basis. However, we wanted to make something everyone would love- not only those with restrictions. We also had to satisfy my recent hempseed obsession, which is perfect because its a protein packed grain that can be used almost anywhere. We settled on one of my favorite things to make and something Lauren had never attempted before, granola!

Lauren is far left and I'm the confused chubster second from the right in the heart bathing suit circa summer '91

Before diving in, two wild cards in this granola are hempseed and goji berries. Here’s why we used them…

Hempseed: The edible form of Hemp is widely available (just check your local Whole Foods, or as Lauren would say… Whole Paycheck) and is commonly referred to as “hemp hearts”. Hemp is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, trans fat-free, cholesterol free and THC-free (I know what you were thinking, but I swear). It is a complete protein (aka contains all 20 amino acids, even the essential ones aka the ones you can’t make on your own), that is easily absorbed and easily digestible; in particular it is a good source for post-workout protein because of its branch-chained amino acids which are essential is repair and growth of lean body tissues. But that’s not all folks, it contains the essential fatty acid’s omega-3 and omega-6, and in the most idyllic of ratios [3:1], and gamma linolenic acid. It is also, of course, full of fiber, both insoluble and soluble, and has a crazy list of vitamins and minerals. Not that we’re name dropping here but it has: vitamin A, B1, B3, B5, D, E, and iron and magnesium. So not only is it a complete protein but it’s fatty acids may help inflammation and improve circulation, the fiber keeps you full and stabilizes blood sugar and gives you the vitamins you need daily. Wow- that’s pretty impressive!

Goji berries: “(or wolfberries) are small, red, dried fruits that are super-charged with antioxidants. Scoring high on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) means that Goji berries will more effectively neutralize free radicals, slow the oxidative process and prevent the free radical damage caused by sun exposure.”**

So without further adieu here is the recipe… And while oats are naturally gluten free, be sure to buy the ones labeled so just in case- you dont know what else is being produced in that factory of theirs!

Makes 8+ cups

Ingredients:

- 4 cups rolled oats, gluten free

- ¾ cup raw, unsalted chopped cashews

- ¼ cup raw, unsalted chopped almonds

- 1 ½ cup flaked coconut

- 4 tablespoons canola oil

- 1/3 cup agave

- 1-2 stevia in the raw packets

- 1 vanilla bean

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 2 teaspoons masala chai spice

- 2 teaspoons cinnamon

- zest of 1 lemon

- 2/3 cup goji berries

- ½ cup craisins

- ½ cup hempseed

 

What you’ll need…

- 1 large mixing bowl

- 2 baking sheets

 

Recipe Instructions:

- Preheat the oven 350F.

- In a large bowl combine: oats, cashews, almonds, coconut, canola oil, agave, stevia, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, masala chai spice and cinnamon. Mix until evenly coated.

- Spread evenly on the 2 parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheets.

- Bake for 30-40 minutes, removing every 10 minutes to stir, until the oats are golden brown.

- Once the oat mixture is done, sprinkle the lemon zest, goji berries, craisins and hempseed and mix around

Click the photo for a slideshow of our granola!

 

**Goji Berries quote from Sarah Britton , referenced by ORAC .

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