Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Jazzed Up Fruity Granola, Gluten Free Option, with Crunchies Freeze Dried Fruit

It is no secret that I love granola.  One thing I love, especially this time of year when treats and ooey-gooey things abound, is to have granola on hand as a perfect snack to grab when you’ve had enough of the other stuff.  In my case, things like this granola ARE my treat.  There is no shortage of granola recipes on my blog—everything from Apple Cinnamon Granola, Banana Split Granola, Coconut Lime Granola, to Dark Chocolate Raspberry Granola and many more!

I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to receive a nice package from Crunchies!  Have you seen their freeze dried fruit or tried them?  I have loved freeze dried fruit for a long time and these Crunchies have sure made a great snack.  I love that they have no added anything—it’s just the fruit—freeze dried!  I’ve seen them in the stores and will definitely now be getting them more often.  My favorites are raspberries, strawberry/banana, pineapple and cinnamon apple.  Which ones would/do you like? 

I decided that I needed to use some of these in granola.  They are perfect.  I mean, look at this plain ol’ boring granola I made.

I love just munching on granola.  Just as equally, I like it as a bowl of cereal with almond milk or on some Greek yogurt drizzled with a little raw honey—but it definitely benefits from the Crunchies freeze dried fruit.  Here I also recently made some chocolate granola (always gluten free for me, and refined sugar free), but the chocolate granola on some Greek yogurt with Crunchies freeze dried raspberries—heavenly!  You should follow Crunchies on Facebook to stay up with their latest and greatest.

It was also perfect giving some away as a birthday gift wrapped up in nice cellophane bag.  Forgot to photograph that one.
Jazzed Up Fruity Granola, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
4 1/2 cups gluten free oats (you can use regular old fashioned oats if you don’t need it to be gluten free)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional, but they sure pack a nutritional punch)
1/2 unsweetened coconut*
1/2 cup raw walnuts*
1/2 cup raw pecans*
1/4 cup raw, sliced almonds*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup raw honey
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Any Crunchies freeze dried fruit you’d like, this one has raspberries, strawberries, bananas and pineapple

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, flax, hemp, coconut and all the nuts and the salt. (*You can use any nuts you’d like for a total of 1-1/2 to 2 cups of nuts, I like sunflower seeds, too.)  Mix together until all combined.  In a microwave safe glass bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, honey and coconut oil.  Microwave for about 30 seconds just until it’s more runny.  Add the vanilla and whisk together.  Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and using a spatula, mix together until everything is moistened.  Spread the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 22-25 minutes until all golden.   Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack—do not stir it around.  Once it is cooled, break the granola into pieces.  Letting it sit until cool makes for bigger chunks.  If you stirred it right out of the oven, it’s still good, but has smaller bits of granola.  Store it in an airtight container.  Add the fruit when serving the granola.  If you added it to the granola for storing, it loses its crunchiness.

Want more delicious recipes and info from Crunchies?  Follow them here on Pinterest and Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks Crunchies for all the samples of your delicious freeze dried fruit.  I literally had to hide these from my oldest son.  He would have taken them all and eaten them before I even got to use them and eat them myself!  I was nice enough and let him have the grapes and blueberries, just to ward him off my stash.

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