I really enjoy a good hearty granola. It’s something that I don’t eat often but when I do, I fully enjoy it. Granola could be a food group all on it’s own. It’s super versatile and taste good at any time of the day. You can eat by itself or sprinkle it on top of your favorite bowl of yogurt or my absolute favorite – warm granola with ice cold milk (non-dairy of course) on top. 😉
So once I was diagnosed with my gluten allergy, granola was one of the first gluten-free foods I tried to find. My heart was bursting with joy the moment I found it on the store shelf even though it was a very limited selection. That moment of joy didn’t last though as my eyes caught the price. Remember, I was new to the gluten-free world so I was a little sticker shocked to say the least.
The cost of store brought granola
If you’re gluten-free than you already know that anything gluten-free is Pricey with a capital “P.” I ended up buying the granola since it was a splurge I was willing to pay. Fast forward, a year later as a newly married wife expensive granola was not in the budget. At a whopping $6.50 a bag for 11 ounces and a frugal grocery budget, I could think of about a dozen other things better to splurge on than a small bag of granola. Besides, my husband ate and still eats the amount of a small army so I knew that 11 ounces of granola would be inhaled for one breakfast or afternoon snack. Nope, I couldn’t justify a $7 snack for one.
So, I decided to add another item to my ever growing list of “need to make” from scratch. Turns out that making granola is pretty simple so even though our income is more permitting, I prefer to still make it. My family would also probably tell you that I don’t make it enough. It’s safe to say that granola is always in high demand in our home.
The great thing about granola is that it’s pretty flexible. You really can’t go wrong and the options are limitless. You decide the add ins and you have an endless source of yummy crunchy goodness. But before you head to the store with great ambitions of making a wonderful perfect snack or breakfast meal, check out these 4 savvy tips for great granola.
4 Tips for Making Perfect Granola
1. Keep it balanced.
You will want your granola to be a blend of complex carbs (oats, buckwheat or both) as well as fats (nuts/seeds/chia) and sweetener (dried fruit/sugar). This will help your granola not only taste great but will help your body optimize what it is eating. Don’t make your granola all about the carbs or the sugar like the store brands often do. Granola is the perfect platform to introduce new and unusual foods to your cutie like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax or hemp seed. My daughter now eats pumpkin seeds out of the bag because she recognizes them from the homemade granola that I make.
2. Keep it jaw friendly.
Don’t forget to chop or blend your nuts and seeds for a few seconds before you add them to your granola mixture so they become easier to chew later. There’s nothing worse than a sore jaw after enjoying a bowl of granola. Smaller size nuts and seeds will keep the size of the clusters smaller in general. This will help your little cuties be able to eat the pure goodness of granola without struggling with big chunks.
3. Keep it timed.
Your baking length will directly effect your finished product’s texture. First off determine do you prefer crunchy granola or chewy? If the answer is crunchy than leave your granola in until you think it is done. Chewy granola lovers should pull granola out of the oven before you feel like it’s done. Remember your granola will harden a little bit more once it’s pulled out of the oven and cools done. So if you are going for a more chewy than crunchy texture then pull out your granola sooner than later. 🙂 A good rule of thumb – “If your not sure your granola is done, pull it out of the oven.”
4. Always use parchment paper.
Parchment paper is your friend when making granola and a necessity that you won’t want to skip. Washing your baking sheet will much easier. But more importantly, the parchment paper helps you to turn the granola over while it’s still baking. Don’t skip this step. It will result in rock hard granola clusters. Make your job easier and use the parchment paper.
Here’s the end result. It looks fabulous doesn’t it? One of the perks to making homemade granola is that your house will simply smell amazing.
Okay, so now that you have the 4 great tips under your belt. It’s granola time.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own gluten-free buckwheat granola:
Gluten-free Buckwheat Granola
Author: Allison Kuslikis
2 cups rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup raw cashews (I used unsalted)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (I used unsalted)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. allspice
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cut and place parchment paper on your 9x13 baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, pour in 1 cup buckwheat groats, 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup coconut flakes and 2 tbsp. chia seeds and lightly mix.
Using your blender, add 1/2 cup of cashews and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and blend on high for 10 seconds.
Stir in blended cashews and pumpkin seeds to your large mixing bowl of granola mix.
In a small pot, add 1/2 coconut sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 coconut oil, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. allspice. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Stir frequently to avoid the sugar from scorching.
Remove sugar mixture from stove and add in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Stir sugar mixture and then pour over the buckwheat/oat mixture in the large mixing bowl. Stir until mixture is well mixed.
Pour granola mixture onto the baking sheet and spread granola so that it is evenly on the baking sheet.
Bake granola mixture for 10 minute intervals up to 30 minutes or slightly less.
Your baking time should look like this: Bake 10 minutes then turn over granola. Bake for 10 minutes then turn over granola. Bake for another 8-10 minutes and then pull granola out.
Allow granola to cool before handling.
Granola will slightly harden while cooling down. Enjoy with cold milk or top of you favorite yogurt snack.
*Recipe slightly adapted from Bob's Red Mill Granola Recipe
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Calories per serving: 249.63 kcal
Fat per serving: 11.85 g
Saturated fat per serving: 7.16 g
Carbs per serving: 34.81 g
Protein per serving: 4.91 g
Fiber per serving: 3.96 g
Sugar per serving: 16.47 g
If you are fan of buckwheat then you will want to head over and check out my Buckwheat Overnight Porridge recipe here.
I would love to hear from you. Are you a BIG FAN of granola? If so, how you do you like to eat it?