Healthy Gluten-Free Granola



Gluten-free granola is so expensive!! I have always loved granola, and since going gluten-free I realized how expensive it is to buy premade granola from the store. I’m lucky if I can find a bag that is around $4, but I usually end up paying around $6 for one bag. So, I decided to learn how to make it myself. Making granola is so easy, and it’s a fun process. Sometimes I like to make large batches, and split it up and add different dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners. If you have picky eaters, or people with different tastes in your family, you could make different kinds for everybody very easily. I think this would be a great activity for kids too.

Health Benefits

Oats

Oats are an amazing source of carbohydrates and fiber. Oats are antioxidants, they improve cholesterol, are full of vitamins like: magnesium, zinc, iron, folate, copper, vitamins B-1 and B-5, and can help with managing weight.


Almonds

Almonds are antioxidants, they are good for heart health, they reduce cholesterol, they are high in vitamin E, and they can help manage weight.


Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a healthy fat, it’s good for your heart, it’s antimicrobial, it can help you lose weight, and it’s good for your brain.


Dried Cranberries

Dried cranberries are high in sugar, but they still have amazing benefits if you eat them in moderation. Dried cranberries can help to prevent UTIs, they have nutrients that can help to prevent cancer, they are high in fiber, and they are antioxidants.


Sweeteners

Let’s talk about the different kinds of sweeteners you can use. Some of the different kinds of natural sweeteners you can use include: honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, and date syrup. I personally have only used maple syrup and honey to sweeten my granola. Maple syrup is my favorite, but I think date syrup and agave syrup would taste amazing.


Additions

Now let’s talk about extra things you could add. When it comes to nuts and seeds, there are so many options. Some of the things I like to add are: cashews, peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. I like to add nut butters sometimes too, my favorites are: peanut butter, and almond butter. I think cashew butter and sunflower butter would also be really good. For dried fruit, some of the things you could add are: dried blueberries, raisins, dates, dried mango, apricot, dried pineapple, dried strawberries, dried cranberries, and so much more.



Here are some of the amazing benefits of making your own granola


  1. You can control the sugar content. Granola tends to be very high in sugar, and I personally want my granola to have as little sugar as possible.

  2. You can control the kind of sugar that goes into your granola. I love using maple syrup for my granola, it’s a little bit healthier, and it adds a lot of flavor.

  3. You can do whatever you want with it. Once you perfect the base for your granola, you can add any kind of dried fruit, seeds, and nuts you can think of. You could have a new flavor every week.

  4. It is so much cheaper!! You end up paying more upfront for the ingredients you need, but you can make several batches of granola.

  5. You can add beneficial, healthy ingredients. I love adding flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut oil.

How to eat it.

I’m sure most of you know what to put granola with, but maybe you need some ideas. You could put it on top of yogurt, I like to pair it with coconut yogurt. You can put it in an acai bowl, you can have it with some fresh fruit and milk, or you could eat it plain.



After preheating my oven to 300 F and gathering all of my ingredients, I measured everything out and put it into a large mixing bowl. I roughly chopped my almonds,I like my granola a little bit chunky, so when I add nuts and seeds I chop them into large pieces. When adding your coconut oil, make sure it’s not hard. If it is, go ahead and melt it before adding it to the mixture. I initially mixed everything together with a spoon, but towards the end, I used my clean hands to thoroughly mix everything together.



After I was done mixing everything together, I put a piece of parchment paper on my cookie sheet. I do this so that it’s easier to clean up. Then I spread my granola evenly onto the parchment paper. I pressed it down a little bit, and tried to clump it together. It didn’t work exactly how I wanted it too, but I did end up with some small clumps of granola.



Once my granola was done baking, I let it cool for about ten minutes, then transferred it to a glass container. You can use any kind of container to store it, just make sure it’s airtight. I would recommend using some kind of jar, like a mason jar, or a glass container with a good lid. The Pyrex glass containers are perfect for storing things.

This granola keeps for about 2 weeks, and you can pretty much add it to anything. I like to put it on top of yogurt, acai bowls, or with some berries and almond milk.







Ingredients


2 cups gluten-free oats

1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds

¾ cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons unrefined, virgin, coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract or imitation vanilla

Sprinkle of himalayan salt


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

  3. Mix together, using your hands makes it easier.

  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s toasted to your liking.

  6. Once cool, store it in an airtight container or jar. You can keep it in your refrigerator, or in a cool dark place for up to two weeks.

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