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Granola is a great take-it-with-you breakfast food, but oats are still the number-one most controversial is-it-gluten-free-or-isn’t-it food, and for now they’re still on the forbidden list. That means commercial granolas are a no-no. The good news is gluten-free granola is delicious, nutritious, and a cinch to make the night before. In this recipe, I call for 1 cup roasted peanuts, but feel free to substitute any 1-cup combination of soy nuts, sunflower seeds, or almonds. Likewise, instead of the 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dried apricots, dates, and bananas work well too.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Yield: 12 servings
2 cups puffed rice
2 cups puffed corn
1 cup Perky’s Nutty Rice cereal
1 cup Kashi Cranberry Sunshine cereal
1 cup roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the puffed rice, puffed corn, Perky’s Nutty Rice Cereal, Kashi Cranberry Sunshine cereal, peanuts, vanilla extract, honey, and light corn syrup.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the honey and oil over medium heat (it just needs to get warm so it flows easier; don’t overheat).
4. Pour the warm honey and oil over mixed ingredients.
5. Place the mixture (you haven’t added the fruit yet) onto large baking sheets that have been coated with cooking spray.
6. Bake the granola for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking.
7. Carefully add the raisins and cranberries to the hot granola and serve.
Tip: Homemade granola tends to go stale quickly. Extend the life of your homemade granola by using a vacuum-packing system to seal and store several individual-sized servings. Too late? If your granola has already gone stale, use it to make granola bars.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups granola
1 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup glutenf-free flour mixture
1/2 cup raisins
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Line an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick spray.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine granola, nuts, flour, and raisins. Stir in the egg, honey, oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Press evenly into the pan.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned around the edges. Cool for at least an hour. Pull the foil out of the pan and flip the granola mixture upside down so you can peel the aluminum foil off. Cut into squares for bars.
If you have bananas lying around that are a little too brown for your taste, or strawberries that are getting a tad too mushy, toss them in a smoothie. Bananas and other fruits, especially when at the tail end of being aesthetically acceptable, sweeten up smoothies and add loads of nutritional value.
Be creative in your attempts at stealth health. Here’s a starter list to give you some ideas of things you can slip into smoothies to enhance the nutritional value:
* Protein powder: There are literally hundreds of types of protein powders -- low-carb, low-cal, high-carb, high-cal, and everything in between. They’re usually derived from whey, egg, soy, and rice, and can be flavored or unflavored.
* Spirulina: For centuries, people across the world have been eating spirulina, a blue-green algae purported to be ultra rich in vitamins and minerals, with claims of nutritional and medicinal benefits.
* “Greens”: Referred to by some as “superfoods,” greens come in the form of a powder, and are specialized plants that provide a full spectrum of naturally occurring, absorbable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients.
* Flaxseed meal or flax seeds: Flax is rich in protein, but is most notable for its addition of essential fatty acids and fiber to the diet.
* Omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acid oils: While these offer the same type of essential fatty acids that flax adds, some people prefer the oils to the meal or seed, especially for their smoothies.
* Instant breakfast powders (check the flavors to make sure the one you’re using is gluten-free; some are, but some aren’t): This is a quick way to add some nutrients and flavor to a smoothie.
And of course, the all-time winner for perking up your smoothie with nutritional value, color, and overall goodness goes to fruits and veggies.
Preparation time: 4 minutes
Yield: 3 cups
1/2 cup milk
1 cup strawberry yogurt
1 cup bananas
1 teaspoon honey
1/4cup ice cubes
For more information about celiac disease contact the Celiac Disease Foundation
at 818-716-1513 or visit the website at www.celiac.org