This easy and delicious granola recipe is gluten free and nut free! The simplest and most allergy friendly recipe there is, free from top 14 allergens. You’ll love this recipe!
Granola has always been a mystery to me. Having so many allergies, I wasn’t able to ever grab a bag of granola at the store to safely enjoy, so I didn’t get what all the hype was about. But since I have a bag of gluten free rolled oats in my pantry, I decided to see what was so good about this snack.
What I ended up with was a recipe that was simple in form and complex on taste. It is crispy and chewy in all the good ways, slightly sweet, has a pinch of salt to deepen the flavor profile, and has all the yummy granola clusters that you will fight over who gets to eat. Plus, this is super budget friendly. I don’t know if you noticed by store-bought granola is expensive!
Once you try this homemade granola, you won’t want to go back to store bought again!
Making Gluten Free and Nut Free Granola
The first thing I noticed was how many recipes out there use things I’m allergic to. I can’t add nuts, gluten, seeds, coconut, or any of those things to my granola. So I did some research and got down to the most simple of ingredients that a basic granola recipe should entail.
Oats. Oil. Sweetener. Salt and Spices. Vanilla.
The oats are the foundation of any granola. Heart healthy and full of fiber, they are a great food to include in your diet. You want them to be gluten free certified if you are avoiding gluten. The two brands I trust and currently use are Bob’s Red Mill Oats and Trader Joe’s Oats.
Oils are what make the granola crispy and delicious. I like to use a neutral flavored oil like canola when making mine. Other options could be olive oil for a more savory type of granola or coconut oil (if not allergic). If you are watching your oil intake, olive oil would be the best choice.
This granola recipe uses a combo of sweeteners to get the best of both worlds: I use maple syrup and brown sugar. These provide a depth of flavor, a crispy sweetness as it cools, and subtle hint of warmth. Other options include brown rice syrup, date nectar, or corn syrup for the liquid, and coconut sugar or date sugar for the brown sugar replacement.
It’s best not to use honey in a granola recipe. Honey in its raw form is filled with delicate enzymes that get destroyed by the heat. You can always add honey to your granola after it is baked and cooled; perhaps drizzling honey over each serving of granola right before eating.
Salt + Spices
For the best tasting granola, don’t skip the salt! Salt helps to enhance flavors, especially sweet things. This is because the sodium particles zero in on the bitter elements of a dish (even if they are so small you can’t consciously taste them) and block them! Sweet things now seem sweeter because of salt. So, you can add less sugar to this recipe if you include salt.
I also love to add some spices to my granola. Cinnamon is my go-to spice, but you could also add ginger, pumpkin pie spices, vanilla extract, or even chili powder for a spicy kick!
Do NOT skip on this! Using good vanilla extract helps to make things sweet, something you’ll really appreciate since this recipe uses less sugar than other granola recipes.
Making Your Granola Special
Now that you know what the components of a good granola are, let’s get fancy with what to mix with it! This is a totally optional step and you don’t have to add anything if you don’t want. Honestly, I like to keep my granola simple so that it matches with whatever I’m eating. But, here are some ideas to get you started.
Nuts and Seeds
Pepitas, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts. Obviously use what you can safely eat.
Add these after baking and the granola is cooled!
Dehydrated blueberries, apricots, figs, cranberries, cherries, or raisins. Again, add after baking. Make sure that you find dried fruit that is sun-dried and unsulfured if possible – sulfur is not only a big allergen but it also unnaturally colors the fruit and extends the shelf life.
Ground Flax seeds can be added after baking and the granola is cooled. This adds a lot of healthy omegas and fats to the granola. Just make sure you store your granola in the fridge if you add flax seeds as they can spoil at room temperature.
Gluten Free and Nut Free Granola Tips
To get the best results from baking your granola, aka those delicious clusters of granola that I seek out, here are the steps you need to make that happen.
First, make sure you bake your granola on parchment paper or a non-stick slip mat. You want to make sure that you can easily remove your granola from the pan and not have to break it up!
Next, you want to press the granola together in the pan and flatten it while baking. After I flip my granola, I make sure to press it back into a smooth shape.
Finally, and this is most important, let your granola cool completely before touching it! You want the sugar crystals to re-crystalize so that you can break it apart into those delicious chunks.
To store your granola, keep it in an air tight container in your pantry or fridge if you added flax seeds. This should keep for up to 4 weeks in a cool and dark place. If you want to freeze your granola, it can be frozen after baking and should keep for up to 4 months.
Did you make this recipe?
Gluten Free Nut Free Granola
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 300°F / 148°C. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together your oats, cinnamon, salt, and any additional spices or flavors. In a seperate bowl (I just use my measuring cup to make fewer dishes to wash) combine your brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet into the dry and mix well.
- Pour the granola mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten with the back of the spoon till you have one even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, flipping the granola over and flattening with a spoon again half way through baking. Remove from the oven when you see a golden color begin to develop on your granola. Don't over bake this!
- Let cool completely before handling. Break into clusters and store in an air tight container for up to a month. Enjoy!