This gluten-free granola recipe is a great meal prep breakfast or snack for a busy week ahead!Jump to Recipe
Store Bought Granola vs. Homemade
One of the biggest challenges when you first switch to a gluten-free diet is finding good gluten-free alternatives for everyday pantry staples, like granola. Even before I was gluten-free, I never loved store bought granola. Granola is often seen as a “healthy” alternative to cereal or trail mix. However, many store bought granolas contain sugar and hidden ingredients. There are few truly “healthy” store bought granolas that are gluten-free and refined sugar free.
Store bought granola can also be pricey, especially the healthy or organic brands. But what makes it so expensive? Granola is just oats, nuts, and seasonings. Homemade granola is so easy to make and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now! I guarantee you that this homemade recipe will also yield more servings than any store bought brand and for half the price too.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a versatile spice from Southeast Asia that is often used in Indian or Asian cuisine. The plant is primarily grown and sold in India. It’s a part of the ginger family and has an earthy flavor with a hint of pepper. Furthermore, its bright golden orange color yields beautiful results when cooking with it. Turmeric is one of the most commonly used spices in S.E. Asia and is used in anything from curry recipes to teas and pickling brines.
Turmeric also has a number of health benefits and is known as an anti-inflammatory property. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which has the potential to improve heart health and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This powerful antioxidant has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries. Turmeric is also known to aid in liver and digestive problems.
It’s no secret that the primary spiced utilized to make this granola is turmeric. But there are a number of spices that come together to create the aromatic blend to season this granola. The spices used support and balance out the earthy flavor of the turmeric. Alone, the turmeric could be overpowering. The other spices used in this recipe include:
- Cinnamon: This classic seasoning is a signature spice in granola recipes- and for a good reason. Cinnamon has a sweet, woody flavor with a note of citrus. This spice is able to bring out the underlying notes of other seasonings, such as the pleasantly bitter tones of the turmeric.
- Ground Ginger: Although turmeric is in the same plant family as ginger, ground ginger has a unique flavor profile that can’t be replicated. While fresh ginger is pungent, ground ginger retains more of a balance of the sweet and spicy. The main flavor the ginger brings to the spices in this recipe is its note of pepper. It helps to balance out the maple syrup and coconut oil that are used in this recipe.
- Cloves: This intensely aromatic spice brings a warmth to any recipe it’s utilized in. Cloves pair well with cinnamon because of their richness and hint of sweetness. But cloves also help balance out too much sweetness with a hint of bitterness to them.
- Salt: A pinch of salt can go a long ways! This stabilizer helps bring all these wonderful flavors to the forefront of the recipe.
Together these five spices create a turmeric forward blend that is the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and warm. Scroll to the bottom to check out how much of each spice you’ll be needing.
Which Oats Are Best?
The base of the granola starts with the oats; however, they can’t just be any oats. Did you know there are four kinds of oats? There’s steel-cut oats, old fashioned or rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats. Many of us are probably most familiar with instant oats. Instant oats are usually found in microwavable oatmeal packages, commonly produced by Quaker Oats. Unfortunately, instant oats are a no-go for granola recipes because of their shape and texture. Instant oats naturally need less time to cook, and don’t absorb enough flavor to make rich, delicious granola.
Steel-cut oats have a grain like texture, such as rice or barley. Because of this, they require more cooking time, as well as liquid. Ultimately, they aren’t the best oat to use in granola. Finally, while you can use quick oats in granola recipes, like instant oats they have a shorter cook time. Ultimately, the best oat to use in granola is old fashion or rolled oats. Old fashion rolled oats have a thick-cut shape that is naturally thick and chewy. This texture yields the most flavorful results!
The Final Ingredients
Now that we’ve covered the spices and oats, there are only a few more ingredients needed to make this gluten-free recipe. Like I said before, you probably already have thee ingredients in your pantry! The first two ingredients are for texture. Granola would be very boring if it was just baked, spiced oats. For this recipe, I add in coconut chips and raw nuts. The coconut chips add a hint of sweetness and when cooked have a nice crunch to them. As for the nuts, I like to use pecans or walnuts but you can pick your favorite!
Finally, the liquid. Just like when you cook oatmeal, you need a liquid to transform the oats from dry to soft and fluffy. No milk or water needed for this granola though! Instead we’ll be using sweetening agents. Because this recipe is also refined sugar free and has no added sugar, this recipe will utilize natural sweeteners. This recipe calls for equal parts coconut oil and maple syrup. The combination of the two yields a rich, warm flavor with a slightly sweet finish. And for an extra splash of sweetness, you’ll need a hint of vanilla extract! The vanilla extract really brings out the sweetness of the cinnamon in the spices.
Tips for Making the Perfect Granola
While this granola recipe is very straightforward, here’s a few tips to help you make the perfect batch:
- Not a huge fan of coconut? Switch out the coconut oil for olive oil. As for the coconut chips, you can use chia or hemp seeds instead.
- Do not use nuts with sugar or seasoning on them, as this will cause the nuts to burn. Furthermore, to prevent the raw nuts from burning, try to distribute them in the middle of the baking sheet. Those on the exterior will most likely burn unless you keep a watchful eye on the granola.
- Lay two sheets of parchment paper over a large baking tray. Due to its color, turmeric can sometimes stain. Best to be overly careful with this spice!
- If you’re looking for more ingredients in your granola, try adding dried fruit. Just be sure to add it to the granola once it’s finished cooking (no need to cook the dried fruit).
- Not sure what to add the granola to? You can eat the granola with milk, yogurt, smoothie bowl, on its own as a trail mix alternative, or even with oatmeal!
Easy, Turmeric Spiced GranolaCourse: Breakfast, SnacksDifficulty: Easy
This gluten-free granola recipe is a great meal prep breakfast or snack for a busy week ahead!
4 cups of gluten-free, rolled oats
2 cups of raw nuts
2/3 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, raw nuts, and coconut chips
- Pour the melted coconut oil and maple syrup into the bowl, then use a spatula to combine the ingredients
- Combine the seasonings in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the granola. Stir to evenly distribute the seasonings.
- Spread the granola evenly across the prepared baking sheet and place on the middle rack
- Bake for 15 minutes, then use a spatula to mix to ensure the granola is cooking evenly
- Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving
- If the granola begins to burn, cover with foil