This healthy gluten free granola recipe is nutritious and fulfilling! It's crunchy, tasty, sweet and nutty all in one! This recipe does not use any table sugar or brown sugar. The sweetness comes from a small amount of honey and from the dried craisins.
The other day I was craving some tasty granola. The type that has the perfect balance of sweet, flavor, fruit and crunch. I ended up purchasing some store-bought granola and brought it with me as a snack.
Since most of my snacks are eaten in the car on the go, I packed up some granola in a zip lock bag and ate it in the car on my way to work. And naturally, half of the granola ended up in my seat and lap. (Umm..do they make adult bibs?). I was pretty disappointed with the flavor and the crumbliness of the granola.
The adventures with my store bought granola led me to this recipe. I had two objectives in creating this recipe. First was to create a granola that had an even, consistent flavor through out. Second object was to great a granola that is healthy and easy!
After trial and error, I created what I consider the world's best healthy homemade granola! This granola has a perfect balance of sweet, nutty and fruit flavor. There is just the right ratio of oats to nuts and fruit. Even better, it has lots of big clusters, but can easily be broken into small pieces if desired. And that's why I consider this the best, healthy homemade granola :).
Let's Make Some Healthy Granola!
First, combine the oatmeal, cinnamon salt and flax seed in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until mixed. Add in the canola oil and warm honey. Mix until oats are coated. I find it's easiest to add everything into a ziplock bag and mix with my hands.
Next, add in the walnuts and pecans. Spread the granola on a baking sheet and cook for 22 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add the craisins once completely cooled!
How To Make the Granola Stick Together In Clusters
A commonly asked question is how do you make granola stick together in large clusters? There's a couple tricks to achieving this. Once granola has been cooked, let it cool before stiring. This allows the granola to harden together, creating the perfect balance of granola clusters and loose pieces.
Don't like the large clusters? No problem. Stir the granola immediately after cooking to prevent it from hardening together.
Tips for making the perfect healthy and easy granola
This granola is so easy to make! I have messed it up in the past, however, so here's some tips to make the best healthy homemade granola:
- Mix all ingredients in a large ziplock bag instead of a mixing bowl for a less messy recipe. Pour all ingredients into a ziplock bag, remove all air, close and mix by massaging the bag with your hands. This is less messy and it helps make sure all ingredients are coated and evenly mixed.
- Wait to mix in the dried fruit until after the granola has been cooked and cooled.
- Check the oven temp: Cooking granola at higher than 300F increases the chances of it burning.
- Stir the granola halfway through cooking. This is key to getting an evenly cooked granola and preventing it from burning.
- Mix it up: use your own favorite flavor of dried fruits. Swap out different types of nuts each time the granola is made.
Ways to use Granola
Granola tastes perfectly good on it's own, and makes a great on the go snack. The best part about granola is that it's versatile and can be eaten in many different ways.
- Top it over yogurt
- Eat it plain as a snack
- Pour milk over granola and eat it like cereal
- Sprinkle granola over a baked apple
- Make a parfait: combine yogurt, granola and frozen fruit
- Place it on top of your favorite smoothie!
Tired of the same old ingredients? Switch up the recipe by substituting different items.
- Nuts: Any type will work. This recipe calls for walnuts and pecans. Other ideas are almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds.
- Dried Fruit: This recipe uses craisins. Alternatives are raisins, dried blueberries, dried cherries or dried apricots.
- Spices: This recipe calls for cinnamon. It can be substituted with baking spice or pumpkin pie spice.
Is this granola healthy?
This granola would be considered healthier than some brands of granola on the market. Here's a few key points:
Omega 3's: The walnuts and pecans are a great source of healthy fat and contain omega 3's. The ground flax seeds also have omega 3's, however the recipe does not call for a very large amount.
Complex Carbs: Granola consists of whole grain rolled oats. These are a complex carbohydrate and take longer for your body to digest.
The serving size of this granola is ¼ of a cup. It contains 185 calories per serving.
Is Granola Gluten Free?
This recipe can be made gluten free by using certified gluten free oatmeal! All other ingredients in this recipe should be gluten free as well, but always double check your labels!
More Gluten Free Snacks
Best Homemade Healthy Granola Recipe
- 3.5 cups old fashioned oats (alternative: certified gluten free oats)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp flax seed ground
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup honey warmed
- ¾ cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup dried craisins
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Combine oatmeal, cinnamon, salt and flax seed in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add in canola oil and warmed honey. Mix well until oats are coated completely.
- Mix in walnuts and pecans.
- Spread granola evenly on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake 22 minutes, stiring halfway through cooking.
- Let granola cool completely prior to stiring in order to create large clusters.
- Once granola has cooled, break pieces and gently mix in dried fruit.
- Store in an air tight container or bag.