{gluten free recipe} Not-so-Sweet Granola


While I love granola, sometimes it’s too sweet for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, sweet granola has a place in my heart–and in my kitchen. But starting in January, after munching through more Christmas cookies than I care to admit, I just don’t want a sweet granola. Instead, I prefer a granola where the subtle sweetness of the oats, flax, and coconut shine through.

Here’s how to make it:

1. Select gluten-free rolled oats.

Unless oats are specially marked “gluten-free”, they are most likely contaminated with gluten. I use Bob’s Red Mill because it’s easy to get my hands on. However, use whichever brand of rolled gluten-free oats you love.

2. Add nuts, ground flax meal, coconut, quinoa flakes, and/or spices.

While I love an “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” granola, you might not. When putting together your granola, select as many—or as few–ingredients as you enjoy. A simple granola of oats, maple syrup, and cinnamon can be as tasty as one loaded with everything from the cupboard.

3. Add a sweetener.

For granola, a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup or honey, works well. The rolled oats absorb the liquid, giving you a little sweetness in each bite. If you can’t do a liquid sweetener, use brown sugar. It works almost as well.

4. Bake
When we roast the granola, we coax wonderful flavors out of the ingredients. When the granola goes into the oven, it’ll be a light beige; when it’s done, it should be golden brown. (Take care not to burn it. Granola can go from “golden brown” to “oh my god! It’s burning!” in just a few minutes.)

5. Cool. Add dried fruit (and chocolate!).
Always add dried fruit after you bake the granola. If you add it before, the dried fruit can burn. And no one wants bits of burnt fruit in their granola. (You can also add a sprinkle of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips!)

6. Enjoy!

I often eat granola out of hand. But, of course, it’s wonderful on yogurt, ice cream, or stirred into a bowl of gluten-free cereal.


RECIPE: Elizabeth’s Not-so-Sweet Gluten Free Granola
Makes about 4 cups of granola


  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut or 1/2 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds or other nuts
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey or golden syrup or corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup liquid oil (I like olive oil in my granola.)
  • 1 cup dried fruit, optional
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional


  • Quinoa, Add 1/2 cup quinoa flakes. If using quinoa flakes, increase maple syrup by two tablespoons.
  • Cinnamon, Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In large bowl, toss together rolled oats, coconut, almonds, flax meal, and salt. Add maple syrup and oil. Using your hands, rub the maple syrup and oil into the granola. Once the granola looks moist. Taste a bite. Adjust sweetness to suit your taste.

2. Spread mixture evenly onto rimmed baking sweet. Bake for 40 minutes. Every 15 minutes, toss granola to prevent it from burning.

3. Allow granola to cool on baking sheet. Once cool, add dried fruit and chocolate. Store in a glass jar or other airtight container.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Lorne Marr says:

    Well I hope men – bodybuilders are allowed in here. I know I know, not very common, but I love to bake and cook.

    What got me hooked was this sentence “where subtle sweetness of the oats, flax, and coconut shine through”. That was when I realized THAT’s what has been missing from my granola experience!!!

    I am with you on this page – let the other tastes shine. I don’t want kindersweets.

    Thank you!

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