Easy Grain-free Granola is a 30 minute recipe inspired by using only ingredients that are already in my pantry, so I don't have to go to the store. The five categories of pantry staple ingredients in this granola are nuts, seeds, spices, liquids, and dried fruits. This flavorful, nutritional, and crunchy granola recipe is grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, paleo-friendly, and vegan.
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Hello my friends. Surprise! We are releasing a second recipe in a week. Yes, I have a lot of extra time recently since I’m part of the group of people that work in the hospitality industry, and I got furloughed two weeks ago. So you are lucky because I will spend full-time working on Spoonabilities until July. Since this pandemic started, society has been shaken by the uncertainty of the short-term future, and wondering what will be the new normal for all of us.
Inspired by our current situation, I created a series of recipes using some of my pantry staple ingredients, or half-empty jars left behind in my pantry and fridge. This easy grain-free granola is the first recipe resulting from using only the ingredients that I found in my pantry. Our motto is “No jars left behind” so this is a perfect time to re-practice what we preach.
Five Ingredient Categories in this Easy Grain-free Granola
The important part to remember as you read through this list is that your goal is to empty the half-used, half-empty jars and packages of items that have been there for a little while. If you don’t have the exact ingredient in your pantry already, look to see what else you have within that category. Granola is a “cooks choice” recipe so whatever you put in there will most likely be wonderfully delicious.
- Nuts: This recipe uses any or all the nuts you can find in your pantry. I use sliced almonds, raw walnuts, raw cashews, and a few (all the leftover ones I had) pine nuts.
- Seeds: Shelled raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed meal.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, and sea salt.
- Dried Fruits: Raisins, unsweetened coconut flakes, and dried bananas. Those dried fruits are what I had in my pantry, but you can add any other dried fruits, or if you don’t have, it’s ok to leave out. But coconut flakes are essential in this recipe because they act like oats due to the similar texture.
- Liquid: I use Organic Pure Vermont Maple Syrup by Mount Mansfield Maple Products, and Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil PDO Sitia Crete.
You'll notice this granola doesn't contain oats which you find in most granola; that's what makes it grain-free. If you have oats in your pantry, feel free in include them. You can also find more about the different types of oats in our recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal with Honey & Hazelnuts.
Ingredient Suggestions & Variations:
- I like to use raw nuts and seeds because I want to control the amount of salt in my food. If what you have in your pantry is salted nuts, it’s ok to use, just omit the salt that I added in the recipe card.
- This recipe is very versatile because you can add or omit any of the ingredients listed above and adjust it to what you currently have in your pantry. The idea is that you don’t have to leave the house to get anything. Also, you don’t need to measure ingredients precisely. Add the amount that you have or wish to use.
- Substitutions: Olive oil is an essential pantry ingredient in every household, but you can use organic unrefined coconut oil if you wish. Also, the maple syrup can be swapped out for honey. But be aware if you want to keep this recipe vegan, use another sweetener like date syrup, agave nectar (not paleo), brown rice syrup (not paleo) or coconut sugar.
- For the brown rice syrup, if you want to keep the recipe gluten-free, check the label of the brown rice syrup and make sure it says “gluten-free.” The fermentation process must be done using fungal enzymes and not barley enzymes to be gluten-free syrup.
- The maple syrup and olive oil are ingredients used to bind the granola and help to create the clusters and add the crunchiness. If you omit these, be sure to use something else that will perform the same effect.
- If you don’t have coconut flakes, you can substitute with raw buckwheat groats. Clarification: buckwheat is NOT a grain. It’s a seed and is also gluten-free. Read more about buckwheat. If you don’t have either one, leave it out.
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Is this Easy Grain-Free Granola Healthy?
This easy grain-free granola is “healthy-ish” because it has wholesome ingredients like raw seeds and nuts, and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup and extra virgin olive oil. I could call this recipe “healthy granola,” but I don’t like to add the term “healthy” to my recipes so easily. I’m not an expert in nutrition, but the idea of a healthy eating lifestyle is for you to be aware of the quality and kind of food that are you putting into your body, and how much you are consuming is what matters. Nutritional facts on recipes or ingredients are based on very small portions that most people (including us sometimes) never follow. This is why it is so important to eat in moderation, exercise and try to eat less processed food, and less sugar, and eat more wholesome food that your body appreciates. Listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good and healthy. That being said, if you know me personally... do what I say, not what I do ;)
What makes this Granola Grain-free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegan & Paleo?
- Grain-free: Grains are tiny, hard dry seeds that are planted and harvested for us to eat. They include corn, rice, oats (found in most granola), and wheat (flour). As per this article on a grain-free diet, a grain-free diet helps to ease digestive issues, relieve inflammation, and balance gut health. The grain-free diet is a step farther than the gluten-free diet. Grains are known to raise blood sugar and contain anti-nutrients, or plant compounds that hinder the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients.
- Paleo-friendly: This grain-free granola is paleo-friendly because all the ingredients are unprocessed and some are in their raw state, with no added sugar, and no grains. For the dried fruits, the only sugar is the one coming from the fruit. The maple syrup is pure and organic in its most natural form. We use Organic Pure Vermont Maple Syrup.
- Vegan: All the ingredients come from plants, and no animal-derived substances or refined sugar is in the granola.
- Gluten-free: This recipe does not contain grains or any ingredients with gluten.
- Refined sugar-free: Extra sugar in any form is not good for you. Sugar in all forms is a carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. But if your body doesn't need the energy at that time, it converts it to fat to use for another time. Refined sugar is made through a long process to remove the impurities and to give the white color. Read more about it in this article: What Is Refined Sugar?
How to Make Easy Grain-Free Granola
#1. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients including the spices, except the liquids (olive oil & maple syrup). Mix to combine. I didn’t chop any of the nuts, but if you prefer smaller pieces, you can do it.
#2. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and the maple syrup.
#3. Add the liquid mixture to the large mixing bowl with the grain-free granola. Mix to combine.
#4. Spread the granola on a lined baking sheet. Try to spread the mixture evenly using the whole tray.
#5. Bake for 25 minutes and stir once halfway through. When it’s done baking, let it cool down.
#6. Add the dried fruits and mix to combine.
#7. Store the granola in mason jars. See my favorite jars after the recipe card below.
- The granola will last four weeks in your pantry.
- This granola is freezer friendly. The granola will last up to three months in the freezer.
Honestly, this is the best, tastiest, easiest granola that I ever made. Full of wholesome ingredients with a wonderful nutty taste, every crunchy bite is naturally sweetened and perfectly balanced. Rich in nutrients, this quick recipe is very customizable because you can just throw in anything that you currently have in your pantry, and no need to measure. Serve on top of yogurt, ice cream, or cereal with milk, or as-is for a quick on-the-go snack. I serve mine with dairy products, but you can use this easy granola with whatever matches your diet.
More Pantry Staple Recipes:
- Greek Green Olive Crostini
- Nicoise Toast with Tuna Fish & Kalamata Olives
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Jumbo Brisket Meatballs in San Marzano Tomato Sauce
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Tuna, Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Summer Antipasto Salad in a Jar
- Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad with Green Bean & Potato
Enjoy this homemade granola and if you make this recipe, share your comments and photos below or in social media tagging @Spoonabilities and using the hashtag #Spoonabilities.
Wishing you safe and healthy week,
Your recipe concierge
Update: This recipe is part of our Homemade Healthy Snacks for Virtual School Breaks collection that are also great for work-at-home virtual office breaks too!Print
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