Easy Gluten-Free Granola

I have noticed throughout these cold, winter months that I cook, bake, and crave oats often.  Oats usually are used in a warming dish, which makes sense why I want to consume them during the colder season. They also are heavier and denser, providing a good nutrition load for breakfast, treats, or snacks!

We also try and consume more probiotic rich, fermented foods in the winter to keep our digestive system healthy and keep unwanted sicknesses at bay. A good yogurt in the morning with some refined-sugar free, gluten-free granola really hits the spot.  I like to load my granola up with nuts and seeds for healthy doses of fats and protein to keep you fuller longer and keep the brain and blood sugar happy!

When you are eating yogurt you want to look for a few things:
1. More often than not choose a dairy-free yogurt made from almonds or coconuts. I am a huge fan of COYO and Kite Hill brands.
2. When you do choose dairy yogurt, choose KEFIR instead. Kefir is a totally fermentable, probiotic-rich yogurt that is actually 99% lactose free because of how it is fermented. Always choose organic too to be sure you are not consuming any chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, or hormones.

Keep in mind this is a BASE recipe, meaning you can add to it as much or as little as you like! I’m thinking coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax meal, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc would be great and healthy additions!

Easy Gluten-Free Granola
(Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Refined sugar-free, Vegan)

3 cups of gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
-Preheat oven to 250 degrees
-Combine oats and nuts in a bowl
-Combine all other ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until it makes a syrup like liquid
-Evenly coat the oat mixture with the syrup mixture in the bowl
-Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
-Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan and stirring every 10-15 minutes
-Granola is done when crunchy and caramelized

Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is a great “refined sugar” alternative. It doesn’t have a coconut flavor, although it isn’t as sweet as regular sugar so adjust your recipes accordingly. But what it does offer is a super high mineral index and also inulin, which is a starchy prebiotic fiber making blood sugars stable when consuming moderately instead of spiking it like white sugar does. We need to consume prebiotic fiber in order for our probiotics to work-so here’s your permission to eat this granola! 🙂

Oats: Oats are super high in fiber which which help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the blood stream. Unique antioxidant properties make them great for helping to remove free radical damage which ultimately can cause cancer and other diseases. They can help keep the immune system up, prevent heart issues, and stabilize blood sugar. They are a great addition to any diet!

Let me know if you make my easy granola and what additions you added to customize it to a flavor you love!