A Tale of Two Granolas and a Sneak Peak of Scones: Crunchy Rice Flake Granola, Sprouted Buckwheat Apple Granola, & Rhubarb Scones (gluten free, vegan)

I really love granola and muesli, but am presently banished from oats (even the GF ones!) due to a mild oat allergy.  Oh my, I've missed the delicious versatility of oats.  Oat flour!  Warm bowls of oatmeal!  Oats in bread and cookies!  Oats in soup!  But most of all, I've missed granola and muesli.  Oh, granola.  How I love concocting new granola recipes.  One of my personal favorites from years back included molasses and currants and crystallized ginger.   I used to churn out some pretty killer batches of granola. 

Yes, I'm hoping to return to oats someday.  Even if I could eat oats now, all my old recipes would be too high in sugar anyway.  So, in the meantime, I've been playing with oat-free, low-sugar granolas, with success!  These are my two most recent experiments, and I'm pretty happy with them, so decided to share.  One is a more traditional-style granola, using rice and and quinoa flakes and baked in the oven.  The other is a sprouted buckwheat g"raw"ola I made in my food dehydrator.  They are both crunchy and delicious, low low low in sugar, and totally satisfy my granola desires!  
I left both of my granolas pretty simple, and did not add nuts, fruit, or seeds.  Since I tend to keep a loose rotation to my diet, keeping things a little more plain allows for more flexibility.  Too many different ingredients gets hard to fit into my low-repetition meal planning style, and I can embellish with whatever other ingredients work that day on a bowl-by-bowl basis.
If you'd like to add nuts, seeds, coconut, fruit, etc to the whole batch, feel free.  Add seeds/nuts to the grain mixture before baking or dehydrating, and add any dried fruits after.  Keep in mind that that you may need to increase the quantity of wet ingredients in both recipes to coat the additional dry ingredients that you choose to add.  
Have fun, enjoy! 
On a different note, over the Memorial Day weekend I baked up some delicious rhubarb scones, served with blackberry coconut cream.  They were warm, crumbly, and divine. Here's a sneak peak.  For more scone-filled deliciousness, page all the way to the bottom of the page, and stay tuned for a scone recipe in the near future...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This is a mix of brown rice flakes, quinoa flakes, rice bran, and crushed rice cakes.  Crushed rice cakes add a good crunch and some bulk.  My fav rice cakes are the ones by Lundberg Family Farm; I'm sure most of you GF readers are probably intimately familiar with the entire Lundberg rice cake collection!  Use whatever flavor you have on hand in your pantry - my last batch used the Wild Rice (wild rice/brown rice blend), this time I used the Mochi Sweet (brown rice/sweet rice blend).  I think it would be interesting to try using using one of their many flavored varieties - I'm intrigued by the Sweet Green Tea flavor that I've seen lately in stores.   If you don't want to use rice cakes, I think you could substitute any GF crunchy cereal, or maybe even a puffed one. 
This granola is fairly crumbly with a fine, light, crispy texture.  In past experiments, I've done things a little differently, and came out with a more chunky, cluster-filled granola.  Both ways are good; I like how light and crunchy this batch is.  Enjoy!
yield: about 4 cups
1 1/2 c brown rice flakes (I used Eden Organics brand)
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c rice bran
4 crushed Lundberg rice cakes (any flavor) or about 2 cups GF crisp or puffed cereal, or other GF cereal, like like Nutty Flax, Nutty Rice, or something else
1/4 c fruit puree (I used a nectarine/peach blend)
1/4 c melted coconut oil or light-tasting oil
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional for more flavor)
1-2 T brown rice syrup or agave nectar (optional - helps to stick things together and add a little sweetness, but not necessary)
1 T mesquite flour or cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/etc
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c ground chia seed
  1. Preheat oven to 325* F, and coat two baking sheets/pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix rice flakes, quinoa flakes, rice bran, and crushed rice cakes in a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, fruit puree, and vanilla and brown rice syrup, if using.  Add stevia, salt, and spices, and stir until well blended.  Add chia seed, and stir.  This will form a thick paste.
  4. With your hands (yes, your hands!) rub the chia paste into the rice flake mixture until well combined and evenly distributed throughout.  Let sit a few minutes to allow rice flakes to soften.
  5. Spread mixture onto baking sheets and bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and rotating pans in oven.  Granola is done when it is dry, golden, and crisp.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in air-tight containers.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I have been eyeing up the sprouted buckwheat g"raw"nolas I've been seeing in stores lately.  They look so crisp and tasty.  The catch?  Most contain ingredients I can't eat - like lovely chunks of walnuts or sesame seeds or big juicy dried fruit pieces - or are so frighteningly expensive I refuse to buy them.  So, I had decided to make a batch of my own, but didn't quite know how to proceed; I had buckwheat soaking and figured I'd wing it from there.  You can't really screw up too badly with a food dehydrator.  But conveniently, the same day, I stumbled across I Am Gluten Free's recipe for sprouted buckwheat grawola! It provided a great started framework.  This recipe is mildly sweet, with a tasty hint of apple.  I love the light, crispy texture and nutty flavor.  lus it is MUCH more affordable to make than purchasing in the store, and I can actually eat it, which is nice.  : )  I didn't use much agave, so it is also pretty crumbly, which I like.  but f you want something more chunky and full of nuts and stuff, I'd follow the link below to the original recipe on I Am Gluten Free.  She also makes suggestions of what to do if you don't have a dehydrator.  Bon appetit!
Inspired by and adapted from I Am Gluten Free's Grawnola Recipe

yield: 2 cups
1 c dry, unroasted buckwheat groats +  water for soaking
1 small apple, cored and chopped
1/4 c ground flax
1 T mesquite flour or cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/allspice/etc
1/2-1 T agave nectar 
1 T coconut oil (optional)
splash water
1/4 tsp salt
  1. Rinse buckwheat groats, and place in a large bowl with fresh water.  Lightly cover, and soak for about 12 hours, changing water half way through, if possible.
  2. Strain buckwheat and rinse very well, until no longer gooey and water runs clear.  Set aside and let continue to drain.
  3. In food processor, place apple, flax, seasonings, agave, coconut oil, salt and a splash of water.  Pulse a few times until you have chunky paste.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together sprouted buckwheat and apple flax mixture, stirring until well combined and evenly mixed.
  5. Spread on lightly oiled dehydrator sheets, and dry at 110* for about 12 hours, or until crispy and dry.
  6. Store in an airtight container.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Here's a sneak peak of the aforementioned rhubarb scones I'm working on.  Served with a tasty blackberry coconut cream, they were the perfect light breakfast, especially paired with a cup of tea and many Scrabble games.  I'd like to make a few adjustments and try them again before posting the recipe, but I thought I'd share the photos.   Stay tuned...