A delightful gluten-free granola full of whole grains, sweet blueberry, real vanilla bean, and omega-packed flax seed. With no added sugar or oil, this healthy vegan granola will be perfect for breakfast, a snack, or topping for dessert!
April’s Theme – Spring Cleaning: Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.
You all know I’m the spice queen and I even had to bring all (most) of my spices, herbs, and extracts down to DC with me. They are all in my bottom dresser drawer! I really do have just about every spice you could possibly need….ever. Once you learn not to be scared of flavor and how to enhance the natural beauty of food with them, you’ll never stop. One “spice” I had never used until a few months ago was an actual real vanilla bean. The expensive whole beans that come 2 in a jar for like $11. Yea, that’s probably why I never had them to use!
I love vanilla and you all know how I love my Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract! (Gotta have the real deal!). But if I’m not using extract, or God forbid, I have none, a vanilla bean is even better! A glorious long skinny black bean. Shriveled, thin, kinda sticky. When you lightly slice it open, teeny-tiny little black dots get ALL over! Haha, but it’s a beautiful thing!
These funny skinny beans fell into my hands when Frieda’s sent me a produce box back during the winter. I had them for a while packed away, not sure how or what to use them in. When I did come across them again and realized they were sadly sitting there, it hit me. Granola of course! What better way to use real vanilla beans than in a delightful granola?
I came across those beans, but also a bag of freeze-dried blueberries. It was a message from the granola gods that had to be answered with some baking! And the message was also clear with what new combo I would make. Blueberry + vanilla + flax! One of the first granolas I ever had was Kind’s Vanilla Blueberry Cluster Granola with Flax Seeds. Since I make my own granola now (and make it healthier), this was the perfect time to so a “copy-cat” inspired type of recipe. Which I did and it was perfect, so much better than the original too 😉
Blueberry Vanilla Flax Granola
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: oats, rice, millet, flax, blueberries, cashew meal, and cinnamon. Give it a stir. Then add the wet: apple blueberry puree, stevia syrup, vanilla, and vanilla bean. Give everything another stir and make sure all in Incorporated and mingled together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and spread the granola out evenly on the sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring once, half-way through.
- Remove and let cool before storing in an airtight jar....or digging in immediately!
What did this granola teach me? That I should never “forget” about an ingredient. If I do, I need to make it memorable and use it in some granola. When in doubt, granola it up! Granola kinda is the perfect “spring clean” thing to make! Throw odds and ends in a bowl and bake it. When it’s done, you’ll have a delicious granola 😉
So tell me:
+ Have you ever used a real vanilla bean?
+ If you come across a random forgotten ingredient in your pantry, what do you do with it? Let it sit or find some inspiration to use it?
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