By Riki Shore
Yogurt and granola is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. Before going gluten-free, I used to make a terrific oat-based granola from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. But oats can be problematic if you follow a gluten-free diet. For one thing, oats are often processed in the same facility as wheat, leading to cross-contamination when the processing equipment isn’t cleaned between runs. For some people this won’t pose a problem since the level of gluten that appears in the oats is minimal.
While oats don’t contain gluten, they do contain a protein rich in proline, which is difficult to digest. For some gluten-intolerant people, eating oats causes gut inflammation and other symptoms similar to those that arise from eating wheat.
Only you can decide if you can afford to include oats in your diet; there isn’t one magic answer. I’ve decided to avoid them, but I missed eating granola too much. This led me to a search for a granola whose main ingredient was something other than oats – a search that ended with a no-grain granola recipe from Elana Amsterdam.
I’ve changed up some ingredients and opted out of her raw food option to create the recipe below. Soaking the nuts overnight begins the fermentation process (without altering the flavor of the nuts), which aids digestion. Sally Fallon explains this process beautifully in her book Nourishing Traditions.
Yogurt and granola is one of those breakfast foods that can easily become overloaded in sugars, especially if you buy commercial flavored yogurt, some of which has as much as sugar as soft drinks. This granola recipe contains about 6 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup. I eat it with Sierra Nevada Cheese Company Capretta Goat Yogurt. I buy plain yogurt, then sweeten it with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Paste and Indo-European Pomegranate Molasses. I also love to add fresh fruit to make this a real parfait.
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnut halves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 cup dessicated (unsweetened) coconut
1/4 cup flax meal
Zest of 1 tangerine
1/3 cup dried cherries
1. Soak almonds and walnuts in a large bowl with plenty of water, weighted down with a plate, overnight.
2. Soak raisins overnight in just enough water to cover.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Drain raisins and pulse in a food processor to form a paste.
5. Add drained nuts to raisins and pulse until it’s the consistency of granola.
6. Add salt, cinnamon and vanilla paste and pulse briefly to incorporate.
7. Spread granola mix on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the coconut and flax meal over the granola and bake about 10 minutes, until everything is golden brown and smells toasty, stirring once or twice during baking.
8. Remove the tray from the oven and immediately zest the tangerine over the granola. Sprinkle the dried cherries and mix everything well with a spatula. Store in an airtight container up to two weeks in the refrigerator.