Is it insane that the first day we were back from our luxurious 8 day vacation to Costa Rica, all I could think about was cranking up my oven?!? Considering I had not been to the grocery store since before we left, my options were limited on what I could concoct, but the urge simply would not abate. When we left for our trip, I must have brought an entire carry on full of gluten free pretzels, cereal, Kind bars, etc. because I knew there would be multiple layovers, car trips or times in the hotel room when both of us were getting a little on the hangry (hungry + angry) side. My husband, Cohl, must be a saint. While I know deep down he was thinking, “What does she think?! That the Costa Ricans don’t eat, too?!” But instead, he sweetly stashed my gluten free bread, peanut butter and jelly away in his suitcase and hauled our carry on full of snacks through the airports.
This rant is all to say that I know there must be many of you gluten avoiders out there that go through what I go through. You are unsure of what you will find when you’re traveling in a foreign country. Sure I knew there would be a ton of seafood on the beach, and rice and beans in the rainforest. But what would I snack on if I got hungry in the room or airport? We all know the airports are horribly difficult to find gluten friendly options! (Ok, maybe there’s not many of you out there and I am one of the few that is severely obsessed with food.) However, once we got there, I kid you not, we must have devoured the entire back of pretzels, half of the cereal and the peanut butter before day 3. I think Cohl was pretty happy during those layovers that I brought us a little snack 😉 Needless to say, I was rather sick of our go-to snacks from eating only those for the entire week and decided to make some scrumptious BIG CLUSTER granola. So please, read on and pay particular attention to instruction #6 on the list on how to get those crunchy big clusters of granola! Enjoy 🙂
Big Cluster Toffee Nut Granola
- 1/3 c maple syrup
- 1/3 c honey
- ¼ c brown sugar
- ¼ c coconut oil
- 1 T cinnamon + 1 t.
- 1 ½ t vanilla
- ½ t salt
- 2 ½ c old fashioned rolled oats gluten free
- ¾ c almonds raw
- ½ c peanuts salted
- 1 c coconut shredded
- ¼-1/2 c toffee reserve ½ of the toffee
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine maple, honey, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Mix until a smooth consistency forms.
- Add in remaining ingredients, except for ½ of the toffee and toss until all ingredients are covered in the syrupy goodness.
- Line a baking sheet with rimmed edges with parchment paper and spread the granola out evenly.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
- Remove from oven and DO NOT TOSS IT! Only sprinkle the remaining toffee on top, lightly push them into the granola and wait, patiently. This will allow the granola to clump together nicely.
- Once the granola has cooled completely, then you can crack and crumble your granola into your desirably—sized clusters. Enjoy!