Whether for breakfast or as a snack, this gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free granola will have your taste buds singing! A decadent combination of strawberry, coffee, and chocolate, this Strawberry Mocha Granola will be love at first bite!
Say hello to a wonderful granola recipe today! (This is one of two you will be seeing this week!). However, I am going to talk about not just the granola, but my true kitchen tool love, my granola paddle! I also have to put a disclaimer here and tell you that this is actually the paddle I got from my rice cooker years ago! I only use it for granola now…weird, I know.
Now, this paddle is my pride and joy. I love it and it’s just the perfect granola tool! I would never think of using some other “spatula” for granola-making. It just wouldn’t work! I might be biased (okay, I am) but if you want to master the art of granola-making you must use a think plastic rice cooker paddle. If it’s gentle enough for fluffing rice, than it is gentle enough for making fabulous granola!
You think I’m joking, but I’m not. This little thing is my best friend!
From mixing, stirring, flipping, and patting down, this paddle knows how to make the perfect granola! The one method in my granola-making that I have switched is going from foil to parchment to line the pan. I used to use foil greasing with a bit of oil, but now I use parchment and nothing sticks and I think it just works better!
But I have to admit, it isn’t just the paddle that makes the granola. It is the art of creativity, love, and compassion for the process. You need to give your granola-making your all! Be super unique, creative, gentle, and love every moment of it! I zen out when I make granola. There is something of peaceful about throwing all those ingredients into a huge mixing bowl, swirling it around, and then simply spreading it on a pan. The smell of it baking in the oven is always unreal and makes my mouth water!
I bet you’re wondering about the history of granola now, huh? Well I have it right here! It start with a man named Sylvester Graham in the early 1800s, who was a minister and advocated vegetarianism. His diet centered around whole grain wheat flour (which would be called Graham flour). He developed the crackers. Then came Dr. James Jackson in 1863, who also advocated a healthy diet and developed “Granula”, which was the flour but baked into sheets and then broken in to smaller snacking pieces. At this same time, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was developing a diet for his patients and made a breakfast cereal of whole grains, ground up, and decided to call it “Granola” because he was sued by Jackson for using the name “Granula” in the beginning!
Kellogg lost interest in cereal for awhile (until Corn Flakes in 1902), so he kinda faded into the background. However, Charles Post was a patient of Kelloggs for almost a year. He left though and sought treatment elsewhere where he went on to open his own health retreat. He used Dr. Jackson’s basic recipe of “Granula” and developed Grape Nuts, which became a huge success.
So, Kellogg, Post, and the new company Quaker Oats, continue busting out cereals for the mainstream, but become attacked in the mid-20th century due to the sugar content and unhealthy marketing to kiddos. So, during the health food/hippe-craze of the 1960s, granola was revived as a healthy whole grain staple full of oats, whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits. All natural, crispy, and not-so sugar laden! The end 😉
Strawberry Mocha Granola
Ingredients: (makes about 5 cups)
+ 1 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
+ 1 1/2 Cup Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
+ 1/4 Cup Dry Buckwheat
+ 1/2 Cup Almond Pulp (crumbled, used from homemade milk)
+ 1 Cup (28g) Freeze-Dried Strawberries
+ 1/2 Cup Strawberry Puree
+ 1 TB Instant Espresso
+ 2 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
+ 1 TB Cocoa Stevia Syrup
+ 1/2 Tsp Coffee Extract (optional)
+ Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
+ In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and give it a mix. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix again until all is coated evenly.
+ On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, spread the granola out evenly, patting it down into a nice layer.
+ Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10.
+ Remove and let cool completely before storing in an airtight jar.
This granola would have been a hit with the hippes 😉 I know it was a hit with me! All the good things of coffee, chocolate, whole grains, nuts (pulp!), and fruity goodness!
So tell me:
+ Do you have a special tool you use when making one of your favorite recipes?
+ Have you ever had Grape Nuts? No, I have not and now I will never be able too, hahaha!
*Recipe linking up for the week! Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeFridays, #RecipeOfTheWeek, #StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Savoring Saturdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Real Food Recipe Roundup, Tasty Tuesdays, Meatless Mondays, Lena’s Tasty Tuesdays!*
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