Have I officially become one of those granola people that garner sideways glances in the grocery store? Probably. Do I care? Not in the slightest. I am proud to say that yes, I love clusters of oat-y goodness and if that’s a sin, then brand me with a scarlet G and call me Hester Prynne. An aside, but the poor girl couldn’t catch a break between a name like Hester and a merciless public shaming. But I digress.
Let’s get back to granola, and more specifically, grain-free granola. Prior to making this recipe, I developed an obsession with Purely Elizabeth’s granola. it was salty, sweet, crunchy, and had the perfect hint of spices to make it simply irresistible. Of course, being a college student on a budget, I decided eventually that I probably didn’t need to spend my weekly allowance on gourmet granola (as much as I do adore it). So, for many months I have lived a granola-free existence, almost forgetting just how good granola could be until I decided to make my own.
Why did I decide to make granola you might ask? Well, I recently tried Trader Joe’s grain-free granola out of curiosity and was sadly disappointed. It is by no means bad, but it does not hold a candle to the Purely Elizabeth variety that made me a believer in the powers of the clusters of goodness. Yet, rather than head to the supermarket to pick up some of my beloved granola, I realized I had all the ingredients to make my own. It is not exactly the same as Purely Elizabeth’s recipe, nor is it trying to copy it. Instead, this recipe blends some of my personal favorite ingredients among some of the ingredients that make Purely Elizabeth’s so delicious.
What’s in this Granola:
- Gluten-free Oats: Whether you use gluten-free or regular old-fashioned oats, this is the backbone to this recipe and delivers all the oat-filled goodness you could want in a granola recipe.
- Oat flour: In addition to oats, oat flour serves as a binding agent in this recipe, helping to form the distinctive clusters of scrumptiousness that are absolutely essential in any granola recipe. If you don’t have oat flour, I have tried this with almond flour as well and it works just as well!
- Sunflower seeds: I would have never thought to use sunflower seeds in this recipe had I not look at the ingredient list on the back of Purely Elizabeth’s original recipe. Then, the light bulb clicked on in my head and it occurred to me how right sunflower seeds are for this recipe. Not too large and overpowering, sunflower seeds provide an added crunch and an excellent source of protein.
- Maple Syrup: I always aim for my recipes to be refined-sugar-free and this one in particular, benefits so much from substituting artificial sweeteners with pure maple syrup. The intense, caramel-like flavor of maple syrup in addition to its viscous texture make it a perfect binding agent for this recipe.
- Chia seeds: One of nature’s superfoods, chia seeds contribute antioxidants, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and support digestive health to make this granola a functional food.
- Flaxseed Meal: Adding dietary fiber and omega-3’s, flaxseed meal enriches this granola and makes it all the better for you!
- Coconut: Coconut tends to be a controversial food much like black licorice or Vegemite. Either you love it, or you despise it. So, this is the one ingredient you could omit if you truly do have a vendetta against coconut. However, I add coconut wherever I can because it adds a richness and healthy fat that gives this granola a little more oomph.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is key in brining this recipe together, giving the granola a delightful crunch, and a subtle notes of coconut in each bite.
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup oat or almond flour
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Next, melt the coconut oil and mix in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla with it. Set this bowl aside.
- In a larger bowl, add the coconut, almond flour, oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed meal together and mix to combine.
- Pour the coconut oil mixture over the top of the dry ingredients until everything is evenly coated.
- Spread the granola mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir, then return to the oven to bake for another 20-25 minutes until it is a light golden brown.
- Store the granola at room temperature in a an airtight container and enjoy!