I love granola in all of it’s sweet crunchy goodness, especially the clusters. Granola is really versatile, too. You can add in all sorts of tasty goodies to it to make it even better, such as fruit, seeds, nuts and chocolate chips. It’s good all year round. You can eat it as a hot or cold cereal, add it to trail mix, layer it in a yogurt parfait, top creamy frozen treat with it, use it as a sweet crumb topping, etc.

Try not to get too carried away though. Granola may be full of nutrients, but the calories can add up quick if you don’t watch out. I try measure out my portions of nuts, seeds and fruit into my granola. That way I’m not eating too much starch, sugar, protein and what-not. You can also do half portions of a certain fruits, seeds and nuts to add more variety.

Recently my morning granola mixture’s looked like this:
3 T Not Yer Momma’s Cinnamon Granola Base
1 T Pumpkin Seeds, soaked, dehydrated
1 T Pecans, soaked, dehydrated, ground
2 tsp Unsulphured Unsweetened Dried Coconut, desiccated
1 tsp Psyllium Husks*
2 tsp Cranberries, dehydrated
2 tsp Raisins, sun-dried
1/2 C So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, warmed
1/8 tsp Ginger, ground
1/8 tsp Cloves, ground

*I only take psyllium on occasion as a supplement, and my dosage is prescribed by a nutritionist. Please be careful with how much you take. If you do take psyllium, drink at least 8 ounces of water with it.

There are so many different types of merchant booths at the local farmers markets that are just filled with amazing things! Many of them compete every autumn in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair within various food categories. Not Yer Momma’s Granola has won many awards (for all of their varieties!) several years in a row now. Their granola is amazingly delicious. You can sample everything!, and the ladies at the booth are always so nice. They are at the Santa Rosa farmers market weekly, and every time the nice ladies refill your granola bag, you get a free extra scoop. Not only do they have mixed granola cereals (Apple Cinnamon, Cardamom Apricot, Blueberry Ginger, Orange & Sour Cherry and Original with nuts), but you can also create your own combinations (so much fun!) at their booth out of their spiced granola oat bases (cinnamon, cardamom, original and organic original) and various add-ins, or you can keep it simple and just get one of their bases. I’m a big fan of their cardamom and cinnamon oats. Now if only they’d sell their ginger base, I’d buy that one, too. I know I’m not the only person to say so. I suppose I can always make my own ginger granola adapted from Rachel Schulman’s recipe over at Eat Drink Better.

Be careful with oats. Not all granola cereals are created equally. Oats, themselves are gluten free, but if your oatmeal granola does not specifically say that it’s gluten-free, then it’s safer to assume that it’s not. Often times oats are grown in fields next to barley, rye or wheat; dust or bits from the other grains can get into the oats during harvesting or processing. You might be able to get rid of the contamination by thoroughly rinsing and sprouting whole oats or soaked raw steel cut oats, but I have not tried this. If you are really worried about contaminated oats, you can just forgo the oats all together. Another way to avoid gluten in your granola is to make your own, substituting oats with buckwheat, which is a fruit seed and not a grain. (Here’s how to sprout buckwheat.) Gena’s raw buckwheat granola looks particularly good over at Choosing Raw; I’m going to have to try it out. If you’re just allergic to wheat and not gluten, you can add sprouted barley to your hot or cold cereal. (Here’s some more barley info.) Of course, you can always mix it up for a wider variety of nutrients, too.