Like most American families, for years we relied on boxed cereals as a breakfast staple. Then one day I read how the cereal manufacturing process denatured the proteins in the cereal, making the cereal toxic and allergenic. And, that was the end of boxed cereals in our household, including the gluten-free variety.
That started me on a journey to find a suitable replacement. Something that could be served up as easily as boxed cereal and still be nourishing and gluten-free. That’s when I started experimenting with granola recipes and have (after much trial and error) perfected a gluten-free granola recipe that can be made in a crock pot or using the slow cooker setting of an Instant Pot.
When I have this for breakfast, I eat about a 1/2 C. of granola with 1/2 C. of yogurt. It holds me for hours because it is full of high quality ingredients that provide energy. (Did you know that 1/2 cup of greek yogurt has 10 grams of protein?) The recipe also makes a great after-school or on-the-go snack. And, we occasionally will scarf it down as a dessert.
The best thing about making your own granola is how easy it is to change up a little here and there. Because of that, I doubt I’ve ever made it the same twice. Replace the almonds with sunflower seeds or walnuts. Instead of peanut butter, use almond or cashew butter. Instead of raisins, use chopped dates or craisins. Occasionally, I’ll use a blending of ingredients because I’m short on one. For instance, I may use half peanut butter and half almond butter. I may add in some chopped walnuts or a handful of sunflower seeds. It all depends on my mood and what’s in my pantry at the moment.
- 5 C. Old-Fashioned Gluten-Free Oats
- ½ C. Sliced Almonds
- ½ t. Sea Salt
- 2 t. Ground Cinnamon
- ⅔ C. Maple Syrup (Grade B)
- ⅓ C. Coconut Oil
- ½ C. Peanut Butter
- 1 T. Vanilla
- 1 C. Raisins (unsulfered)
- ½ C. Shredded Coconut (optional)
- Add the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt to slow cooker.
- In a small saucepan on the stove heat maple syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter, and vanilla.
- Heat until ingredients are melted and stir until combined.
- Slowly pour the heated ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly coated.
- The granola needs to vent a little when cooking. It's a good idea to use something that can tilt the lid slightly to allow for venting. A good example would be placing a wooden chopstick across the top of the slow cooker and then setting the lid on top of this.
- Cook on High for 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes to avoid clumping.
- When finished cooking, stir in dried fruit and coconut.
- Spread out the granola on a large baking sheet and let cool for about an hour.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in fridge.
If you have an Instant Pot:
Use the slow cooker setting on an Instant Pot* and adjust it to Normal. Set the timer for 2 hours and cover. If you have the optional glass lid,* it’s even better because there is a vent hole on the top, allowing you to skip Step #5 in the Instructions.
A little bit about the ingredients:
My recipe includes details about a few ingredients. Below are links to a few examples that will make the granola even more nourishing. I realize a few of these items seem a little expensive, however, the recipe only calls for small amounts of the pricier ingredients. If you’re on a tight budget, choose one (I’d go for the maple syrup!) and see if you taste the difference. Some of the items can be purchased in the bulk section at local health food stores, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s which makes them a little more affordable.
- Organic Old-Fashion Gluten-Free Oats* – Oats are naturally gluten-free, however, most facilities that process oats aren’t gluten-free. Be sure to pay attention to this on the packaging. Also, look for non-GMO and organic varieties.
- Grade B Maple Syrup* – Grade B maple syrup has more minerals than regular maple syrup. When you choose a brand that sources from local growers you will get the most amazing maple flavor.
- Almonds* (or other nuts and seeds): When choosing tree nuts for granola, I prefer this brand because they are organic, raw, and unpasteurized. They aren’t sprayed with pesticides which makes the nuts much easier for the body to digest.
- Coconut Oil* – Look for organic, extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Creamy Peanut Butter* or Crunchy Peanut Butter*
- Almond Butter* (either creamy or crunchy)
- Cashew Butter* *either creamy or crunchy)
- Unsulfered Dried Fruit – Raisins, craisins, apricots, dates, figs, mangos, etc. Look for unsulfered dried fruit. Unsulfered dried fruit does NOT contain sulfer dioxide which is used a preservative and gives dried fruit its beautiful (but unnatural) coloring. Sulfered dried fruits should be avoided by people with weakened respiratory systems. It can trigger an asthma attack, cause rashes, and upset stomachs.
*I’m an affiliate for things I’ve bought or used personally. If you click through my referral link, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your support in this way. Read my full disclosure policy here.