Gluten free (and paleo!) granola: the crunch you’ve always wanted.
Crunch. It’s a thing. There’s only so much non-crunchy food you can eat before you need something to crunch all up on.
And I’m not talking ooh-this-is-so-nice-and-crispy crunch. I’m talking hard crunch. Not mamby pamby crunch. Not this-would-so-not-be-crunchy-if-it-were-at-room-temperature crunch. I’m talking crunch with gall. Perma-crunch.
We need granola.
I almost started this post with, “It’s crunch time!” and then remembered my utter despisal of that phrase on account of it sounding all deadline-y, task-y, cubicle-y and lame….y.
Plus, I would never “it’s-crunch-time” you on a Monday. That’s just cruel.
This granola. It’s gluten free, paleo, and naturally sweetened. What makes a granola paleo? Absence of grains, legumes, alcohol, refined sugar, and dairy. Enter: nuts. And honey. Nut & Honey!
For those of you who have never made 17,000 gallons of granola, this recipe’s your jam. Crunchy items should be made in bulk. Little known (but very true) fact.
This granola has the perfect crispy crunch, plus you achieve huge granola clusters. Largely-sized clusters are a major plus in granola. No one likes a granola that is, in actuality, a glorified museli. Museli’s great. But granola without cluster is like a sailboat without sails, IMO.
I’ve granola-d a time or two, so I have granola wisdom to pass on:
- Use a variety of nuts and seeds. No one likes monotonous granola.
- Use dried fruit and unsweetened coconut flakes. Both add natural sweetness and flavor without having to add processed sugar.
- Give your ingredients a good chop or run through the food processor. This will create itty bitty granola bits that make for great granola-ing.
- Use natural sweeteners. I used coconut sugar in my Walnut Granola Cluster recipe, honey in my Walnut & Date Granola recipe (and this one), and have also used pure maple syrup. Natural sweeteners a good granola make.
- Use an egg white and water. I know, it sounds strange. But it helps hold all of the ingredients together, and makes for a crispy granola with large clusters. We want the biggest clusters we can get.
So here’s how you make your gluten free (and paleo!) granola:
You gather your paleo-friendly granola ingredients, you granola gathering foo. Add the nutty and seedy ingredients to a blender or food processor. I used my Blendtec Designer Series Blender and processed for just a couple of seconds, grinding some of the nuts finely, and leaving many of the nuts chopped or whole.
You whisk together the egg white and water in a big ol’ bowl, then add all of the ingredients and mix everything together reeeeeeal well. Then spread it all out on a baking sheet. And bake. Forever. Just kidding. But seriously, it feels like eternity. You end up with crispy holy mother clusters.
For those of you who are versed in paleo granola, you know the recipes are pretty nutterriffic. Which is rad for a nut-addicted girl like me. But paleo granola keeps you fuller than a regular granola, which can be an asset or a detriment depending on how you look at it. The way I see it, this granola is perfect for packing up and taking on a hike and great for a pre mountain biking breakfast. Maybe not the best granola to munch on if you’re having a sedentary day…because it will just sit in your belly. For hours. You’ll likely want to cry. But it’ll hurt so good.
Consider yourself warned and learned.
You know the drill. It’s crunch time!
Tools I used to prepare this recipe:
Gluten Free (and Paleo!) Granola
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the first 3 ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the nuts, but don’t grind them into a fine meal.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white with the water until bubbly and slightly foamy.
Add the grapeseed oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to the egg white/water mixture and whisk together well.
Pour the chopped nut mixture into the mixing bowl, along with the dried cranberries and shredded coconut. Stir everything well to make sure it is all coated.
Spread the granola mixture evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy, stirring once after 10 minutes (see note)**.
Remove granola from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes without stirring it – this is where the clustering happens, so be sure to not skip this step!!
Use a spatula to get under the granola and release the large clusters.
Once cool, store the granola in a 2-quart sealable glass jar.
Eat granola with your favorite milk or yogurt and fruit
Recipe Notes*You can also use olive oil or coconut oil **Keep an eye on the granola while it is baking, as it can go from done to burned quickly. If you use pure maple syrup instead of honey, you will need to bake the granola for closer to 40 minutes.
Make a parfait using your favorite fruit and yogurt (to keep it paleo, use raw milk yogurt or coconut/almond milk yogurt)!