Alisa Fleming ~ My husband doesn’t eat almonds. Fortunately, he isn’t deathly allergic, but he is adamant that they do not agree with him. Yet, he insists on continuing to purchase a trail mix that contains almonds. He picks them out, places them in a bowl, and within a week I have enough almonds to make granola!
Obviously, I’m not complaining. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an excellent source of magnesium and manganese, and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. They are also a great source of meat-free protein without all of the saturated fat (just 1 gram per serving).
Beyond basic nutrition, the versatility of almonds in recipes has made them a darling of the special diet community. Within seconds they can be pureed into a creamy butter for dairy-free richness or ground into “flour” for easy gluten-free baking. But even with all of their potential uses, I usually turn to simple, traditional nutty recipes like this granola.
- 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 2-1/2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free)
- 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup honey (can substitute agave nectar for vegan)
- ¼ cup almond or melted coconut oil
- Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet with high sides – I like to line it with a silicone baking mat for more even cooking and easier removal.
- Place the baking sheet in a cold oven, and turn it on to 350ºF. Toast the almonds for 9-11 minutes, checking in once or twice to stir.
- Remove the almonds from the oven, but leave the oven on.
- Combine the toasted almonds with the oats, coconut, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Whisk the honey with the oil and drizzle it over the almond-oat mixture, tossing to evenly coat.
- Spread the granola out on your baking sheet, and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes, giving it a stir half way through.
- Remove the granola from the oven, loosen it from the pan with a spatula, and let it cool.