With a little effort, you can easily make this vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free pistachio chocolate granola at home. Tips are included.
However, I’ve always felt uneasy about putting boxed cereals in my shopping cart. Highly processed. Added sugar. Are they gluten-free certified?
This is why I decided to stop buying boxed cereals and make this healthier, no added sugar, gluten-free pistachio chocolate granola at home. So, if you are struggling with buying store-bought boxed cereals or having trouble finding healthy and easy breakfasts, I want to challenge you to make your own granola at home.
The best thing about homemade granola is you can make your own favorite flavor combinations with healthy ingredients. You don’t have to stick with just using oatmeal. Quinoa, millet, and buckwheat are all wonderful healthy choices.
Here are 6 tips for making a batch of wholesome and crunchy granola at home.
1. Choose the right oatmeal (if you are making the traditional granola)
In the past, I used Bob’s Red Mill quick oats. However, it breaks easily and the granola ends up being more powdery. This time, I used rolled oats which are thicker and processed a little bit less. You can find the gluten-free certified rolled oats on Amazon for a better deal than most grocery stores.
2. Use the right amount of oil.
For every 4 cups of oatmeal, use ½ cup of oil. If there is not enough fat, the granola will be too dry and won’t be crunchy after roasting. You will find many recipes using olive oil or coconut oil. However, both of them are higher in saturated fat than canola oil. I like to use canola oil, especially in baking.
3. Bake temperature
When you bake the oatmeal with nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans, etc., you want to bake them between 300-350 °F. A higher temperature can easily burn the nuts and your oatmeal.
4. Pack the unbaked granola mix in a single layer (meaning do not over pack) on a lined baking sheet.
You definitely don’t want to over pack the mix. Otherwise it won’t bake evenly. After spreading the mix onto a baking sheet, use a spatula to press it down firmly. You can use either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to line your baking sheet.
5. Don’t stir right away after baking.
If you’d like having some granola clusters, you should wait for the baked granola to totally cool to room temperature before you transfer it into an air-tight container.
6. Add any kind of dried fruit last.
You don’t need to bake the dried fruit with the oatmeal. Otherwise the fruit will be too dry and tough to chew. Simply toss it in with the baked and cooled granola. For lower sugar choices, you can use dried goji berries, cranberries, cherries, or figs. Raisins tend to have a higher sugar content so I rarely use them.
I added cocoa powder for this pistachio chocolate granola recipe. So far, my family is enjoying it with our homemade kefir (dairy or non-dairy) and fresh fruits. Life without boxed cereal is still easy peasy.
- ⅓ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- ⅓ cup pistachios
- 1 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- ¼ cup erythritol for sugar-free and low carb choices or coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder I used Hershey's special dark cocoa powder
- 4 cups rolled oats not quick cooking oats, gluten-free if desired
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup dried fruits of your choice
Preheat oven to 325 °F.
In a food processor, briefly chop almonds. Add flax seeds and give the switch a few extra pulses so the seeds get broken up. Add pistachios last to chop briefly in the food processor. You don’t want to grind the nuts and seeds into powder. Set aside.
Toss the remaining dry ingredients (except the dried fruits) into a large mixing bowl.
Add the chopped nuts and seeds into the mixing bowl and toss together.
Add wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix well.
Transfer the mixture onto two 13 X 18-inch metal baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread the mixture out into a single layer and press down firmly with a spatula. Bake 40-45 minutes and stir it up halfway through the baking.
- Remove the baking sheet from oven and let it cool completely. This will allow the granola to have some clusters. Gently toss in dried fruits and transfer the granola into an airtight container.