Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Deliciously Healthy Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola (gluten free, dairy free, optional vegan)


By the time this post goes live, my batch of Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola is already a distant memory, the last bowl having been devoured with this morning's breakfasting in the GF household. So good was it, that Miss GF is already demanding another batch and to be shown exactly how to make it, so that it remains available at all times!

No doubt we will move onto another recipe and another fad fairly soon, but for now, this is the breakfast (and snack) of choice. I am happy with that! This granola is full of really healthy ingredients which are perfect for energising the day ahead.


Packed full of crispy-crunchy, immunity-enhancing, cholesterol-busting, slow-energy releasing oats, this is a bowl that seriously satisfies. It's loaded with a generous quantity of protein-rich pecans and almonds. Both are known for their high ratios of healthy unsaturated fats, which support a lowering of cholesterol, as well as containing positive quantities of flavonoids which help fight inflammation.

Sweetened with natural unrefined sugars in the form of maple syrup and coconut palm sugar, the chocolate in this granola is also on the virtuosity continuum, being a hefty dose of cacao...... Packed full of antioxidants, cacao will also boost your serotonin levels to literally put a smile on your face!

And if that isn't enough good news ingredients, I also used coconut oil to roast and bind the mix, which we all know is fantastically good for you at a whole number of levels, as well as being very trendy!


This granola is totally delicious without the addition of the fruit, but throwing in some dried pear and cherries took it to a higher level. Both compliment the chocolate really well, adding an alternative chewy texture and zingy tang to the mix. I recently discovered the dried pear (from Whitworths) in Tesco's and can't get enough of the stuff. It comes in individual snack packs and is perfect for keeping in the car for traffic jam munchies!

All in all, this is a perfect breakfast and is so easy to make. Not having made granola before, I thought it would be a bit of a faff, but it really is a case of mixing and then baking to dry it out! Store it in large Kilner jars or airtight food-savers and it will stay fresh for ages, although I challenge you to have any left after a few days....... I (stupidly) left ours in full view on the kitchen table and couldn't walk past without dipping my hand in. Whilst it tastes amazing in a bowl doused with ice-cold milk, it also makes a very moreish snack..... beware!


I am linking my Deliciously Healthy Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola with the following :

We Should Cocoa with the lovely Choclette at Tin and Thyme, who works tirelessly every month to help us showcase our lovely chocolatey treats.

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too





Cook Once Eat Twice (or make a huge batch and eat everyday for breakfast!) with Searching for Spice

Cook Blog Share, this week with Hijacked by Twins



Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation




Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel (& Free From Farmhouse)

The Foodies 100 Healthy January Linkup


Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola

Ingredients

400g gluten free oats
60g cacao powder (available from health shops)
100g raw pecan nuts
40g flaked almonds
65g coconut palm sugar
large pinch fine sea salt
160g maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g extra virgin coconut oil - melted
1 large egg white (optional - if egg-intolerant or vegan, leave out)

90g dried pear pieces (I used Whitworths) 
100g whole dried cherries (I used Tesco's)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2.
  2. Line a couple of large deep'ish baking trays/roasting tins with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, weigh and mix together the oats, cacao powder, pecans, almonds, coconut sugar and salt.
  4. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil and stir through thoroughly, until the mixture is completely 'damp' looking.
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg white until light and frothy.
  6. Add to the granola mix and fold through thoroughly.
  7. Spread the granola mix onto the trays, ensuring the layer is not too thick. 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and then toss the granola with a spatula to turn over.
  9. Bake a further 20 minutes and toss again.
  10. Bake a further 10 minutes (approximately or until the mixture feels dry) and then turn the oven off, leaving the granola on the trays in the oven to cool as the oven cools.
  11. Remove from the oven when cool, tip into a large bowl and add the dried cherries and pear. Stir through evenly.
  12. Store in an airtight container and enjoy as a snack to nibble on or with your favourite milk for breakfast.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

24 comments:

  1. sounds great - I have a chocolate granola that I keep coming back to from time to time and love it - there are so many variations you can make that I don't get bored though I sometimes have breaks between it. I am sure if I have this granola I would be very tempted to snack on it at any time of day if it was on the kitchen table!

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    1. I remember your granola Johanna. It looked amazing! I have been meaning to make granola myself ever since I saw it!
      Now I know how easy it is to make, I think it will be regularly finding space in my oven, along with lots and lots of variations xx

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  2. You and I must be mentally connected. I am just posting my carb free gluten free sugar free granola recipe! Not as decadent as yours but suits my diet more! I LOVE the sound and look of yours though xxx

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    1. I think we might be...... I am sure I recollect similar parallels happening before too! Must pop over and check you out xx

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  3. Your photographs are getting better and better. How delicious this homemade granola! Love the recipe.

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  4. It sounds amazing, especially with those dried cherries and pear! I'll have to look out for the pear - I don't think I've had it before. I made granola last year and it didn't last long but I especially love the idea of making it chocolaty. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

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    1. Thanks Corina. You're welcome.
      The fruit complimented the base-granola perfectly and added a lovely chewy element.
      You must try and find the pear. It has become one of my favourites! x

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  5. Before I first made granola, I also thought it would be too much of a faff, but it's so easy, isn't it? It's also really satisfying to smell the oats, and nuts as they are toasting. Why do you add egg white to yours? I've never used it in granola. I'll be featuring your recipe in a gluten-free vegan round-up if that's OK with you (will credit and link to your post of course!). Thanks for joining in with #FreeFromFridays.

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    1. Thanks Mel. It was so much easier than I expected.
      I added the egg white after doing some research and finding lots of recipes seemed to include it, I think to help stick the clumps of oats a little..... but to be honest, I am not sure it made much difference, so without it would be perfect in a GF-vegan round up! xx

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  6. This looks amazing, it's granola on steroids! I'll be making this too but will have to leave the egg white out (intolerant) oh dear! My to-do-list is already huge and we're only 13 days into 2017!

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    1. I like the idea of granola on steroids! Certainly makes for a great energy boost....
      Leaving the egg out will make no difference to the end result. I hope you enjoy!
      As for to do lists...... I know what you mean xx

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  7. This looks amazing and far more unhealthy than it really is (which is how I think all food should be!). I love the sound of the dried pear, I've not spotted it in the supermarket before so I'm going to have to keep and eye open for it.

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    1. Thanks Charlotte. The pear is great..... I hope you find some x

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  8. My feature for this week's Sunday Fitness & Food! Congrats Kate!

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    1. Thank you so much Ilka. That's fantastic and a great start to the year xx

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  9. I LOVE Granola, it is my staple lunch at work with coconut milk yoghurt! this looks amazing! I am definitely going to make (and hide from the Peachicks) a batch of this!
    xxx

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    1. Me too.... I made more of this at the weekend in 'bar' form and ate about three pieces in the car on the way to a midday meeting today. Piggy, but delicious. And at least I knew there was plenty of goodness in there xx

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  10. I love granola! I started making my own GF version a while ago, definitely want to give this variety a try :)

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  11. Hubby and I love granola, this sounds absolutely amazing especially with the cherries and pears against the cacao - yum! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for the dried pears, tehy sound lovely.
    Angela x

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    1. Thank you Angela. Definitely recommend this one..... it's a keeper! xx

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  12. Oh Kate, your pictures are so mouthwatering. I haven't made granola for such a long time and now I feel I'm missing out. I like the idea of cherries and pears and I think I've got both in the cupboard somewhere.

    Now I shall go back to tirelessly getting the We Should Cocoa post sorted out :D

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    1. Thanks Choclette. Although it was my first foray into granola-making, it certainly won't be my last. In fact, this one was so good, it has already been made a second time in 'bar' form, so that it can be eaten 'en route' to work. A bit crumbly, but that's was car valets are for! x

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a message about any aspect of this post. It's always great to get feedback!