Monday, January 9, 2017

Oatless Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

Are you a sweet or savoury breakfast person? As a child (and like many of the children I teach), I was almost always in the savoury camp, but aside from bacon (Canadian or otherwise) and homefries, my selections tended to be rather removed from "typical" breakfast fare. Instead, you'd find me, bleary eyed and clad in my school uniform, cooking a pot of spaghetti for oil and garlic, heating up a can of soup or baking off a pizza pocket at 6AM - maybe even digging into cold Chinese leftovers if we had eaten them the night before. Once in university, I was at the mercy of my dorm room's amenities - being a mini fridge, a kettle and a coffeemaker - so my tastes flipped over to a rotation of dry Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and Vanilla Almond Special K, both sans milk if you please (even then I wasn't a huge milk fan). I'd grab a spoonful of peanut butter between classes if time allowed me to get back to my room, or I'd back a yogurt and roasted chickpeas for protein mid-morning. Once I was able to get to and from the grocery store with regularity, I started picking up boxes of oatmeal adding a mashed banana, a drizzle of honey and some peanut butter, or if i was feeling decadent, brown sugar and cocoa.

Oatless Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

These days, breakfast is almost always an afterthought with me - by the time I'm actually hungry (my stomach sleeps later than a teenager), it's my lunch hour, so everything gets "pushed" back - save for copious cups of coffee or tea during the winter to stay warm. When and if I do get peckish, I still reach for dry cereal mixes - they're portable, easy and delicious, not to mention variable. Making my own granola is an extension of that, and with the rising numbers of people needing gluten-free options and the (often ridiculous) cost of certified "clean" oats, I made a batch for myself and a few of my GF friends that is completely devoid of oats altogether. In their place, a mix of cooked rice, seeds, rice bran and germ powder and hazelnuts married with cocoa, dried cherries, tahini and vegan honey, creating crunchy clusters of decadence that tasted far too rich to be a nutritious snack or breakfast addition. However, the mix is as nutritious as it is delicious, with almost two grams of protein and just over 80 calories in a quarter cup. Think of it as a new way to eat "rice cereal" for breakfast!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Oatless Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
Makes 8 cups, 32 (1/4 cup) servings
2 cups cooked rice, cold (I used a mix of red rice and brown short-grain rice)
¼ cup uncooked millet
¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup amaranth
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup whole flax seeds
½ cup Rice Bran & Germ Powder (you can use rice bran or half and half psyllium and quinoa flakes too)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup tahini
2 tbsp Bee-Free Honee or dark agave
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp butterscotch schnapps (optional)
1 tsp chocolate-hazelnut extract (I used LorAnn, you can also use 2 tbsp Frangelico)
½ tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup chocolate chips
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F (convection if you have it).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the rice, millet, hazelnuts, seeds, cocoa and salt.
  3. Melt together the tahini, Bee-Free Honey and coconut sugar until runny.
  4. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, add the schnapps and extracts and stir with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto a lined baking sheet and press into an even layer.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Stir, then return to the oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and stir in the cherries.
  9. Place in the turned off oven and let cool 1 hour.
  10. Cool completely on the baking sheet, then stir in chocolate chips.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 81.4
Total Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.0 mg
Total Carbs: 10.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 1.9 g

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