I’m just gonna say it. I’m completely in love with granola. I mean seriously, what’s not to love?? It’s crunchy, full of flavour and packed full of tasty goodness. To me, that’s nothing but a winner. But, I’ve always found it so hard to buy shop bought granola. It seemed that they were always stuffed with nuts which honestly isn’t ideal when you’re allergic to them.
It did seem that there were a few out there which were nut less, but honestly, they were more than likely not very nice. Bland, tasteless or just full of rubbish. It was quite a mission to find something which was tasty, and not packed full of sugar. And I know I’m just being picky… but I just do not like raisins, which they ALL seemed to be full of. Even if there’s only one it ruins the whole thing for me. I know, I know, I’m just awkward, what can I say?
But I’d finally found one which I loved. Full of chia and coconut, it tasted just like a biscuit, and lasted around 5 minutes around me! I’ll admit, I was a bit greedy when it came to it. On top of nice cream, yogurt, chia pudding, or even in a bowl with some coconut milk. It went with everything, and was the perfect finishing touch. Although it may have been expensive, I would buy it for myself as a little treat from time to time, and because I loved it so much I never felt guilty. Not to mention that it was actually healthy! But I’d always wished that I hadn’t eaten so much, because I would end up with a horrible bloated belly, and felt like I couldn’t move. Little did I know then that it was actually my coeliac disease in action. The one thing that I loved, clearly didn’t show me the love back!
So, when I got the diagnosis, I was more than a little disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy this anymore. I was lost, the food that I normally had it with just didn’t taste the same and I don’t know if it was in my head. But, it always seemed to be missing something.
The Perfect Excuse To Experiment
I wanted to try to make my own for a while, even before my diagnosis. But it all seemed so complicated. Like everything, there’s a hundred and one different recipes available, with everyone claiming that it’s ‘the best granola recipe ever!’ So, who do you believe? What I really loved about the one that I used to buy, was that it was completely oil free. And I couldn’t find a single recipe, that seemed nice, that was. But I’ve learnt, the best things you can make often come from trial and error. So, I decided to just go for it and have a little experiment. I knew the basics of it, going in blind can’t be that hard… Can it?
Gluten Free Grains
Honestly, I think that it’s the best thing that I could’ve done. I love making my own food because you can completely customise it. Make it unique to your preferences and only include the food that you love. (Goodbye, raisins!). The hardest part was the whole oat business. Obviously, I couldn’t just throw in a load of oats, and at the time, I didn’t have any gluten free ones.
After a little research, I found out that you could actually use buckwheat as an oat replacement. And oh boy, is it good! It has this sort of subtle nutty flavour, and the crunchiness makes it completely irresistible. I saw a recipe before for buckwheat porridge, and after falling in love with the flavour I thought I’d give it a go. But, that was a mistake. It seemed to take forever to cook, and when it was finally done, it seemed that all the flavour had been taken out. Buckwheat porridge wasn’t really a winner for me.
Going Gluten Free
Anyway, I got a bit side tracked there! I’ve made this with just buckwheat, with gluten free oats added, and I’ve even tried it with a few rice pops. Whenever I saw recipes with rice pops in I always thought that they were a bit weird. Thinking, ‘why on earth would you put rice krispies in your food?’ Now, I know that it’s not that type of rice pops, but instead it’s literally rice puffed in its purest form. Surprisingly, it takes exactly like a rice cake. But they also make a great addition to your granola. And of course, it wouldn’t be right unless there were some chia seeds mixed in. I love everything about them, and honestly add them to everything that I possibly can.
Pimp My Granola!
Next up… The add ons. When you make food yourself, the best part is the ability to personalise it. You can add in whatever you like, and how much you like. Personally, I throw in about every piece of dried fruit that I can find. It seems to bring out a sweetness in the oats and gives it a bit more of an oomph. And of course, it wouldn’t be a meal unless there was some coconut in there. Crispy flakes, slightly browned (but not burnt!), are where it’s at. Don’t like them, or don’t have them? It’s fine, just leave them out. I’ve also recently started introducing seeds as well, and am completely loving the outcome. Slightly crunchy and delicious, they bring out a whole different texture and flavour all together!
Maple syrup is a staple in my making cupboard, and I love to use it in all different ways. It’s the perfect sweetener in my banana oat bites, I use it in cakes, as a drizzle, and basically in a lot of different ways. It’s a good replacement for honey, and I find that it’s not as sweet, so perfect if you don’t want anything that sends your sweet tooth into over drive. Because I really wanted it to be oil free, (I can’t stand that oily texture you get in your mouth, which seems to coat your lips).
But I also didn’t want maple syrup to be the only liquid here, so I added some date syrup. I absolutely love dates, so why not try date syrup? That’s the beauty of experiments, right? And, this one definitely payed off. It contrasted perfectly, and took away the pure sweetness of the maple syrup. The only thing here is that you need to be careful that too much isn’t added, as it can be quite bitter.
Food For All
I’ve made this both gluten free one for me and a normal one for my mum, who doesn’t have any food intolerance’s. I use the exact same liquids, in the same quantities and the only change is a slight difference in the fruit and seeds added. For her one, I purely used oats, rather than any buckwheat or the like. So really, it’s a winner all round, and suitable for absolutely anyone.
This takes about 15 minutes to whip up, and only lasts 2 minutes once it’s ready! It’s so completely moreish and irresistible that you’ll wonder where it all went. I’ve even made this in the mornings for my breakfast before work, that’s just how quick and easy it is to whip up. And, if you’re anything like me. Then the crunchier the granola, and the more clusters there are, the better!
Yep, I’ve made it so crunchy before that you could pick it up and eat it like a biscuit… Dreams do come true! The secret? Avoid stirring it and touching it too much. When you turn it in the oven, just give it a little shake. When you get it out the oven, resist the urge to give it a stir and just let it sit and settle for a while. Remember, you can always break it up and turn it finer, but you can never make the clusters bigger. But honestly, I think that’s the best way to eat it. Maybe that’s just me, who knows?
If you’re looking to add some taste and texture to your favourite breakfast dishes, or lunch, dinner, snacks even puddings. I eat it all the time! Then this is definitely the way to go. I know that everyone claims that there’s this ‘the best granola you’ll ever try.’ I’ll let you be the judge of that. But to me… This is something that I can’t help making again and again. And that can’t be anything but a good sign, can it? I guess my diagnosis led me to finally pluck up the courage to make my own, and for that I am grateful.
Time to get creative… What will you add to yours?
Super Chunky Gluten Free Granola Recipe:
You’ll always find a pot of this homemade granola hiding in my cupboard. I love it sprinkled on everything from yogurt to nice cream, and enjoy it anytime of the day. You don’t need to be gluten free to enjoy this scrumptious treat. Completely oil free and healthy also means that you don’t need to feel guilty after some light snacking!
Yields: Approx. 1 L Container
- 1 Cup Raw Buckwheat
- 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oats
- 1/2 Rice Pops (Or another 1/2 Cup of Gluten Free Oats)
- 1 Teaspoon Coconut Sugar (Optional)
- 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Flax Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Date Syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Additions of Choice – I love Coconut Chips, Seeds, and lots of Dried Fruit (Cranberries, Dates, Figs…)
- Preheat Oven to Fan 150* C / 170*C / 325*F / Gas Mark 3, and line a baking tray with a layer of parchment paper.
- Place the Buckwheat, Oats, Rice Pops, and Coconut Sugar (If using) into a bowl, along with the Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds.
- Coat in the Maple Syrup and Date Syrup, until the mixture is completely covered. This may take a while, but persevere instead of adding any extra liquid.
- Put the mixture onto the baking tray and spread out, creating an even thin layer.
- Place this into the oven for around 7 mins.
- Once the timer has gone off, remove the granola base from the oven and add in any of your additions. Stir them through the mixture, until they are fully incorporated. If you wish to have a chunkier granola, then keep the stirring to a minimum.
- Cook for around another 5 minutes, or until the coconut (if using) is lightly toasted, being careful not to let it burn.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you allow it cool without touching it, then you will have super chunky granola. If you prefer slightly less chunky, then you can give it a quick stir.
- Enjoy with a splash of milk, as a little snack, or as a topping to some of your favourite meals!
Want to stay up to date and receive exclusive content and recipes? Follow me and never miss a moment!
Have something to say? Just sprinkle your thoughts and let me know what’s on your mind…