Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oats, To eat or not to eat~ Skillet Granola

And now a few words about oats.....

Consumption of oats while following a gluten free diet is a touchy subject. In Canada it is listed as a GF product but not in the US. I have not thrown the bath water out on this one. When OUR KIDS went GF and began eliminating items from their diet I did remove oats. I wanted to be certain I was following the GF diet and giving the kids the best chance for recovery.

Then our sons favorite book became Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. Every morning he would ask, no beg for porridge. He use to eat porridge and did not understand why he could no longer have it. So I thought for quite awhile (maybe a day?!) and researched oats. My next shopping trip, later that day I purchased certified GF oats. The next morning when I called him to breakfast he asked, "What's breakfast about?" This is Joseph's way of asking what is he about to eat. When I responded porridge he said, "Porridge? Oh boy! Porridge." He did his happy dance to the table!

This past spring I had pneumonia. Two months later I developed a horrible upper respiratory infection called the 99 day cough. NO, I am not making the name up! Anyhoo, one morning I was felt like a herd of elephants had danced the night away on my chest, Jeff got up with Joseph and made his porridge. I was sooo thankful I did not have to get up I did not think twice about it. Later it dawned on me that we did not have any certified GF oats. Holy cow, he had used "real" oats!!!! All I could think about was Joseph's GI reaction, how low was I on diapers and wipes, rather than the kindness of my husband getting up with Joseph while he had only had a couple of hours of sleep. I am thankful to report nothing out of the norm occurred. Since then I limit the amount of "real" oats Joseph consumes and have had a good outcome.

So my take on oats is like everything else about consumption of any food, never throw caution to the wind. Always do your homework. Follow the GF diet faithfully. Read every label!

I do know that if the oat infraction had not occurred I would never be purchasing rolled oats again. This would be sad for my daughter and husband since they love porridge but at our house if your not GF you do not eat the GF food. Same with the GF kids, if it has gluten they cannot eat it. This rule makes it a lot easier on our youngest daughter eating different than others. I still purchase certified and steel cut oats, but it is great to know that if I ever get into a lurch I have another option.

Steel Cut Oats
My most favorite blogger in the whole wide world is Shauna James Ahern, aka the Gluten Free Girl. I have followed her blog for some time now. I think it is so way cool that she too resides in the Seattle area. Anyhoo, here is her link for Homemade Granola. Shauna bakes her granola. I know that there are thousands of recipes for granola but besides the recipe shared today, Shauna's is the only other one that I have made that taste good and turned out deceit! I am looking forward to giving granola as teacher and therapist gifts this year and exploring a ton of possibilities to make during the winter months.
Is this not a beautiful looking bowl of granola?

I can hear my Mom now, first bean sprouts and now granola... what next tofu? If she only knew.... :0)

Frugal tip: I have made this without any additional nuts or dried goodies. It is great plain, and my kids love it as a snack any way I fix it.
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (I use canola)
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter (I use earth balance)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds — (or any nuts you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries — (yummy with raisins, blueberries and/or
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oats then cook and stir until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Push the oats to the side of the pan.
Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Stir in the honey and brown sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Push the oats around in the pan and stir to combine. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes or so to make sure to coat thoroughly. Pour out onto the cookie sheet and spread to cool.
Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and stir in the almonds and dried cranberries. Any additional nuts and fruit can be stirred in at this time also.
You can add about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg if you’d like. You can change the vanilla for Maple flavoring or add equal parts. (Yummy!) This recipe is very forgiving.
I never make smaller batches, because I can always put additional in small bags and store in the freezer. I like to thaw them in the microwave and eat while warmed.
May your table always be bountiful~ Blair