I’m not sure about you, but I’m pretty glad October is behind us. The speed at which it passed, however, wowza! November looks no less busy…So, I’m looking for ways to slow down this month. After all, I’m in the process of prepping this year’s daily Advent Calendar posts [look for those right here on November 27th!] And, before the month is over, we’ll have a teenager in the house! So, yeah, slowing down might be good, no? Time to spend a few moments each day just to Stop, Breathe and Think and stay Calm! Of course, another easy [or not so easy] way to chill out is to dial down the sugar.
Here’s a recipe we’ve made a few times over the past few months that’s become a lifesaver! We’ve come to love a bit of granola on our yogurt, in our salads, tossed over roasted squash, and on ice cream. But, it’s always nice to be able to set your own taste level when it comes to adding sweetness to the already sweet. So, the kids and I decided to try and make our own granola without a single drop of added sugar or sugar-subsitutes like honey, agave, etc. Our biggest concern was how to get our oats to brown without adding a ton of oil or fats…that is, until our friend Mara told us about her ingenius way for getting the oats in her trail mix to brown in the oven: whipped egg whites. Armed with her tip, we came up with this simple home-made Sugar-Free Flexible Granola recipe, What’s great about the script below is that you can pretty much use any nuts, seeds, or dried fruits you want or that you happen to have in the pantry. And you can pumpkin spice or anti-pumpkin spice it to your heart’s content! We’re huge fans of flexible recipes! [See our popular granola bars!] We hope you’ll enjoy this one just as much!
The Luncbox Season's Sugar-Free Flexible Granola Recipe
- 3 cups of oats [any kind except 1-minute]
- 2 cups of nuts seeds, and/or unsweetened coconut [we used .5 cup each sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, and unsweetened coconut]
- 1 cup of the dried no-sugar added fruit of your choice [we used natural raisins]
- up to 2 tsp ground spices [we used all cinnamon]
- 6 egg-whites [we used 12 tbs of eggwhites from a carton]
- Heat the oven to 225 degrees Farenheit.
- Place the beater and bowl of a mixer in the freezer.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
- In a mixer fitted with your cold whisks and bowl, whip the egg-whites until the peaks are firm.
- With a spatula, carefully incorporate the eggwhites into the dry mixture until all of the dry elements are coated.
- Spread the uncooked granola out onto the cookie sheets.
- Place the sheets in the oven on the middle and lower-middle racks.
- Bake at 225 for an hour and 10 minutes, stirring about with a fork or spatula on the pan every 25 minutes or so.
- Allow the granola to cool in the pans on wire racks.
- Then, place the granola in an airtight container. It should last for several weeks if kept airtight.