Since committing to going gluten-free in 2016 (you can read why here), i’ve had a grain free granola on my kitchen radar. I like to use it as a sprinkle on my fruit salad and smoothies, and it works equally well as a muffin topping, as a crust for your fruit crumble, or as a little crunchy boost to your breakfast pancakes…the list goes on really. You can even eat it on its own, as a snack – it’s pretty versatile!
I was a bit worried that a grain free version would lose some of that decadent mouth feel that regular granola has, but rest easy folks – after a little tweaking, this one turned out perfectly. I had it this morning with sliced peach, banana and plain greek yoghurt for breakfast, and it was HEAVEN. I also used it on my delicious dinner smoothie, which you can find here…seriously, I think you should make some. STAT.
Grain Free Apple Pie Granola
Adapted from The Balanced Berry
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup linseeds (aka flaxseeds)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2-3 small green or red apples, cored & quartered
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, agave or organic coconut nectar
- 2 tbs coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp mace
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Dash of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 160C and line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper (you want the mix to sit no more than 1cm thick, so adjust the amount of sheets you’ll need to accommodate this).
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds and linseeds (flaxseeds) until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Throw the apple into the same food processor bowl (don’t bother cleaning it) and process until it’s similar to a coarsely grated texture – don’t overdo it. Pop this into the same bowl with the seeds.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 mins, stirring granola every 10 minutes or so.
- Allow to cool completely to crisp up. Store in a sealed container in the freezer to keep fresh & crunchy.
- I have a notoriously slow oven, so everything seems to take twice as long to cook…consequently I have to keep a very close eye on things as they come up to time! I found this wasn’t enough cooking time for me – after cooling the mix thoroughly, I still found it a bit soft. So I transferred it back to the pans, and left it on a low (120c) oven with the door ajar for about an hour (I just stuck a wooden spoon in it to keep it in place) and it came out perfectly. I think this is one you’ll need to judge for yourself depending on the speed of your oven, so just keep an eye on it and you’ll know when it’s done. I would not use the fan with this receipe – nuts are quick to burn, so slow & steady does it with this one.
- When I transferred the mix back to the oven for the second drying, I drizzled about 1 tbs of agave over each pan, just for a bit of an extra sweet hit. Because that’s the way I roll! I would definitely do this again – this isn’t an overly sweet mix as it is, so the little bursts of it as you eat it are lovely.
- On that note, and simply because I didn’t have enough of any one sweetener, I used a combo of maple syrup, agave and organic coconut syrup, and it turned out fine 🙂