Same taste, texture, and rich flavors you love in traditional granola, but completely grain-free!
I know, I know. It’s the holiday season and I really should be bringing you recipes for gluten-free cookie after gluten-free cookie after gluten-free cookie (some of those to come – promise!) but here I am, bringing you another granola recipe.
You see, in real, raw gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free life (yes, the babe toddler is still intolerant at 14 months and I’m still BFing) holiday prep and planning is more about survival while traveling (aka figuring out what am I going to be able to eat) than it is about the perfectly prepared festive goodies. Allergy/intolerance life in all its glory, friends.
So December 1st, and Grain-Free Granola it is!
If you know me, you know I love my granola – it’s my absolute #1 go-to snack and I take it everywhere with me. Literally e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. So it’s no surprise that an extra big batch was in order early last week to get me through my Thanksgiving travels.
But there was one tinsy problem: when I went to make the granola, I was fresh out of oats. UGH. Could I have run to my beloved Whole Foods, which is literally 3 blocks away, at 8:30pm? Sure, but it was cold, rainy, and I was already in my jammies. So obviously that was not going to happen….
Instead I got creative and made something I was preeeeetty sure I was never going to attempt: a grain-free version of my beloved granola.
Why was I never planning on attempting it? First of all, I’m not paleo, I’m not on a Whole30, oats and I get along well (as long as they are gluten-free purity protocol) so I never really saw or felt the need.
Also, you know the saying “you eat with your eyes first”? I think that was my main issue. 95% of the grain-free granola photos/recipes I came across just looked kind of, well, blah. They were way too clustered (or not clustered enough), way too dull, and looked like they were trying too hard in all the wrong ways.
But I’m thrilled to let you know that I cracked the grain-free granola code! I honestly wasn’t even planning on sharing this with you guys, but after seeing it and then tasting it, I knew I had to recreate it and share it with you. It’s everything you love about traditional granola – hearty, rich, comforting, protein-packed, etc. – just without the oats/grains! And the texture is perfectly on point.
The secret to grain-free granola that looks (and tastes!) all kinds of right: simply swap coconut for the oats!
Ok, ok, it’s not exactly that simple, but pretty close! I did use three types of coconut here in order to achieve the perfect texture and bind – finely shredded, regular shredded, and flaked (all unsweetened) – which may seem a bit high-maintenance but so worth it. If you can’t find finely shredded coconut, I’d suggest replacing it with additional regular shredded coconut and adding a tablespoon of almond meal to the mix to help bind everything together. Or you can give the additional regular shredded coconut a quick whirl in the food processor or blender to shred it a little finer.
I also scaled the coconut oil and honey back a bit, since the coconut flakes don’t absorb quite as much of the liquid as the oats usually do, making this grain-free version a tad more healthy to boot. Can’t complain about that!
The most important difference when making grain-free granola is that the bake time is quite a bit shorter than standard granola recipes – 30 minutes max, compared to 45-50.
Did you get all of that? Just as easy (more or less), a tad healthier, and less time from bowl to oven to mouth.
By golly, I may be a grain-free granola convert after all!
No surprise then that the #1 item on my holiday (survival) baking list is a double – or possibly triple – batch of grain-free granola. Who needs cookies, anyways? 😉
- ½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¾ cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut shreds and flakes, nuts, seeds, salt, and cinnamon, mixing well.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup together, and then pour over the dry mixture. Very thoroughly mix the granola, until all of the dry ingredients are equally coated.
- Spread out evenly onto the prepared baking sheet in a thin later.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove the granola from the oven and stir and then spread into an even thin layer once again and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the granola from the oven and do not stir. Allow to completely cool, then break into chunks.
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