Peanut-, Nut- and Wheat-Free Cranberry-Flaxseed Granola

Flaxseeds
A pile of flaxseeds.. Fabrikstation/Getty Images
  • Prep Time
    10 min
  • Cook Time
    60 min
  • Total Time
    70 min
  • Yield
    About 8 cups Granola

One of my fondest memories of kindergarten is making (and devouring) granola as a class activity. Without any nuts or flour, this recipe still makes a crunchy granola that is sweet with cranberries.

The dried cranberries are plumped in orange juice (a technique used by Cook's Illustrated magazine in their granola bars), making a nice flavor and texture contrast. For information on the suitability of oats for celiacs and where to buy gluten-free oats, see Oats and the Gluten-Free Diet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or flavor extract of choice (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (optional)

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover an 18x12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup orange juice to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to warm and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cranberries are plump and they have absorbed most of the juice.
  3. Drain cranberries, removing as much liquid as you can. (You might try putting the cranberries in a strainer and pressing on them with the back of a spoon.)
  1. In a very large bowl, combine 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup whole flaxseed. Stir until oats and flaxseed are completely covered with oil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup. Stir to mix completely. Add 1/4 cup honey. Stir to mix completely. Add 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon extract of choice and, if using, 2 teaspoons cnnamon, 2 teaspoons nutmeg and 2 teaspoons ginger. Stir to mix completely. Add drained cranberries. Stir to mix completely.
  3. Spread oat mixture in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir mixture thoroughly, being careful to move lower layers of oats to the top and smooth with a spatula. Bake for another 15 minutes. Stir again, moving lower layers to the top, then bake for 15 minutes again. At this point, the granola should be starting to brown on the top. Continue stirring and baking for 5 minute intervals, being careful not to let the granola burn.
  1. When the entire mixture is toasted and browned, carefully remove the granola to a bowl. Let cool. Store in a sealed container at room temperature. This will last at least two weeks on your countertop or in your pantry.

Serving suggestions: Granola is an excellent cereal, especially when served Scandinavian-style (with yogurt).

For those avoiding dairy, its nutty flavor makes it pair well with many milk alternatives. Granola is also an essential part of trail mix, and because this granola isn't sticky or gooey, it works well for that purpose, too.

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