So I have admitted to having a slight carb obsession. There have been times in my life when I have eaten little else. Thankfully my life is a little more balanced now, but there are still few foods that bring the same level of comfort to me as a good carb.One of my favorites has always been granola/muesli. In high school I became OBSESSED with yogurt and granola. If I had a friend over, come home from school, had a bad day, had a good day or just because I wanted to: I ate yogurt and granola. This carried into my first two years of college. I used to buy the largest yogurt container I could find at the local creamery. Sadly, it never took very long to finish it. I remember one time I sat down with a roommate (also one of my best friends — the best combo) and she poured herself a bowl of yogurt, but she accidentally tipped the yogurt container a little too much and poured most of the container into her bowl. Not only did it fill the bowl, but it created a little yogurt mountain as well.Eventually milk replaced yogurt for my favorite granola companion. It is a little lighter and makes for the perfect treat. I also started restricting my little granola treats to every once in a while instead of every day. That way it remains special, right? Then a few years ago my milk preference switched to almond milk, which is especially convenient now that I can’t eat dairy:-) I don’t indulge very often, but oh how I love my granola and almond milk. My husband’s family has been so considerate and thoughtful about my diet restrictions when we are together. Since my diet changes we have seen them twice, in the summer and around Christmas. Both times people went out of their way to make a gluten-free option and to even buy store bought gluten-free comforts like bread, crackers and cereal. I never buy those things for myself since they are so expensive to buy ready made. Over Christmas I was in the cupboard and found a scrumptious looking muesli. (Does any one know the difference between granola and muesli? They have always been the same in my book.) I asked my amazing mother-in-law if she could remember if it was gluten-free or not. She said she knew it was since she had made it herself. Naturally I had to get the recipe from her. She gave me her version and the original version. She made quite a few changes to the original and then I made a few more changes to her version so by now it doesn’t really resemble the original very much any more. This is my second time making granola/muesli… muesli sound fancier, don’t you think? I think this one turned out even better than the first batch. It makes a pretty big batch so you can share with your friends or keep all the goodness for you and your family… or just you:-)
Fruit and Nut Muesli
5 C oats
1 C sunflower seeds
2 ¼ C mixed nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, pecans — ¾ C each)
¾ C water
½ C olive oil
¼ C applesauce
¾ C agave/honey
¾ t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 ½ t vanilla extract
2 C dried fruit (2/3 C each: raisins, chopped dates, banana chips)
- Preheat the oven to 300 F. In a large bowl mix the oats, sunflower seeds and mixed nuts.
- In a medium saucepan stir the water, oil, applesauce, agave, salt, cinnamon and vanilla together. Turn the stove on medium and continue stirring until the liquid becomes warm, but does not begin to boil.
- Pour syrup over the oat mixture and stir together until the oat mixture is entirely covered by the liquid. Cover two 9×13 pans with tinfoil and pour the muesli evenly into the two pans and bake for 20-30 minutes. If you like it a little crunchier bake it for 5-10 minutes longer.
- Allow muesli to cool and stir in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.