Nut-Free Barley Granola


This recipe has been adapted from My Recipes. I absolutely love the use of barley as an alternative to traditional oats that I have been accustomed to using with homemade granola recipes.

Barley granola was initially introduced as part of a preschool cooking and food art initiative, and has now become a staple at home for plain yogurt, or just as a quick go-to snack. Since this is also a nut-free recipe, it is an excellent addition to school snacks and lunches.

Easy to make and fairly nutritious, I recommend giving this a try in your home – it has certainly passed the taste test with many young children over the last couple of years!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seed kernels

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seed kernels (or ½ cup just instead of pumpkin seeds)

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. ground cardamom

1/8 cup hemp hearts

1/8 cup unsweetened coconut

2 cups rolled barley flakes

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (you can toast yourself, or purchase)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Place pumpkin seed kernels and sunflower seed kernels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 5 minutes. Let cool.

3. Combine syrup and next 6 ingredients (through cardamom) in a medium bowl. Stir in toasted kernels, hemp hearts, coconut, barley, and wheat germ.

4. Spread barley mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes.

5. Remove from oven; cool granola in pan on a wire rack... Store in an airtight container.

6. Enjoy!

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