Alisa Fleming~ I seem to be on the "auto-ship" plan for a lot of publishers thanks to Go Dairy Free, so random diet books and cookbooks often appear on my doorstep without warning. Last week, The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook by Erin Chase arrived. Unfortunately, this one isn't quite Go Dairy Free material. It isn't dairy-free, dairy-low, or free-from in any fashion, not by a long shot.
Nonetheless, I did alter a couple of the recipes to make in my home, and both turned out well. You can see my full review of this cookbook on Alisa Cooks, but I am going to continue on here about one of the recipes … the Overnight Granola.
Making granola is so easy, that I literally haven't bought a box at the store in over three years. But this recipe … this recipe takes easy to a whole new level. I love Erin's concept to simply "set it and forget it" with the granola, and the fact that she keeps the recipe so basic (just oats) leaves a lot of room for experimentation.
Though you could enjoy it as cereal, topped with fresh fruit and doused with some almond milk, I opted to saute up some apples and dates, and use the granola as a topping. It was a delicious sweet breakfast treat that my husband and I both loved!
Erin recommends using a mixture of rolled oats and quick oats as it helps the granola clump a bit … and she was right! I changed the ratio, using more rolled oats, but it still clumped nicely. Like the original recipe, I kept it simple, but did make a few modifications for taste and texture preferences and to make it dairy-free. I also tested it as a daytime recipe … and as it turns out, just a couple of hours will do …
Super-Simple Spiced "Overnight" Granola
Recipe adapted from The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook by Erin Chase.
This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free and optionally Gluten-Free (with the use of certified gluten-free oats).
Preheat your oven to 300ºF (check to make sure your oven doesn't run hot!).
Combine the oil, honey, vanilla, spices, and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the oats in a large bowl and stir to mix the two kinds up, then add the liquid ingredients and stir until all those little oats are nicely coated. Spread the oat mixture out on a baking sheet (preferably one with rimmed sides so the granola doesn't slide off the sheet!) or large jelly roll pan.
Place the oats in the oven and allow them to bake for just 10 minutes, not a minute more, then turn off the oven and leave the granola inside to finish baking. Don't peak! You can leave them there while you run errands, go to bed, etc. But I found that they were done (as in the oven was cold and the granola was golden) after about 2.5 hours. So 2 to 3 hours is plenty if you are awake and remember them. Stir to declump a bit and store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings
Article and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.