granola

My husband and I both lucked out when it comes to food allergies. I only have a minor, teeny, mild allergy to kiwis and bananas. In fact, so minor, that I didn’t even realize it was an allergy until a few years ago when I found out that not everyone’s mouth and tongue burn and turn red when they ate bananas and kiwi (I thought it was just a thing that happens, like the roof of your mouth getting cut up when you eat Cap’n Crunch). Obviously, it isn’t severe enough to stop me from eating them.

We thought Craig was allergy-free, but over the past few years, he’s slowly been honing in on the root of some digestive and skin issues, and after a long and storied investigation (complete with a string of pill-pushing doctors, elimination diets and more research than I think I did during all of college) we think we’ve figured out the culprit—an oat allergy. Poor guy. We were eating oats in various forms almost everyday. Heck, even our soap had oats in it! And everyday, he’d have a reaction, especially bad immediately after he’d consumed or used an oat product.

granola

An oat-only allergy is actually kinda rare (no, it isn’t a gluten allergy or intolerance, he’s fine with other gluten-y things, and he even tried gluten-free oats, which he still had a reaction to), but the second he went cold turkey on the oats, everything started to clear up. It was like night and friggin’ day. We were so happy that we’d figured out what the problem was, but it definitely took some adjusting to become an oat-reduced household (I still eat them sometimes). You’d be amazed at how many things contain oats or oat flour. Breakfast has been a real struggle for him. Before, he could eat overnight oats or oatmeal or a yogurt bowl with granola or granola bars or cereal or multigrain bread, but now, almost all of those options have been cut out. But not anymore!

I’ve been working on an oat-free granola recipe for a while now, and I think I finally figured out a winner. It definitely isn’t your standard granola, but it’s lightly-sweet, crunchy, nutty and tastes absolutely incredible on top of some Greek yogurt or in a bowl with some milk.

milk granola cereal

The mix-ins of the granola are totally adaptable (below in the recipe you’ll find the amounts for what we usually use), but the base of the granola—AKA: the oat substitute—is what really makes this recipe shine. It uses a combo of puffed brown rice cereal (think: the hippie version of Rice Krispies) and quinoa flakes. Now, quinoa flakes may sound weird, but I bet if you look at your local Whole Foods or health food store, you’ll find them in the same aisle with the oats and other hot cereals, and maybe even in the bulk bins if you’re lucky. Quinoa flakes are just quinoa that is processed in a very similar fashion to old-fashioned oats—the grain is rolled and flattened to make flakes that are quick-cooking and result in more of a porridge than a grain. Which means they work pretty much perfectly for oat-free granola.

granola

I also love the quinoa flakes because quinoa is an incredible source of complete vegetarian protein. Meaning that, in quinoa, you can get all nine amino acids that your body needs to get from food in one food source. Why is this so awesome? Well, a lot of vegetarian sources of protein (beans,  grains, etc.) don’t contain all the amino acids, which is totally fine, because you tend to make up for what you’ve neglected in one meal with another, but with quinoa (and other complete proteins, such as soy, hemp seeds, meats, eggs, dairy, and others) you take all the guesswork out. Eat some granola, get all your amino acids. Works for me.

Enjoy!

Oat-Free Granola

Oat-Free Granola

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

You won't miss the oats in this crunchy, delicious granola!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 2/3 cups unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cups unsalted slice almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (blueberries, raisins, cranberries, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together the quinoa flakes and coconut on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to brown (watch carefully, it'll burn quickly).
  2. Pour the roasted quinoa flakes and coconut into a large bowl, add in the brown rice cereal, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, dried fruit and chia seeds and toss to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown rice syrup and peanut butter. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, or until melted and liquidy. Mix in the salt and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over the cereal mixture and toss to coat (try to get everything coated evenly). Dump mixture onto the parchment-covered baking sheet and spread into one layer. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until the granola is brown and fragrant. Let cool completely and then store in airtight containers.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Do you have any food allergies? If you don’t, what food would you be totally crushed if you happened to become allergic to it?

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49 Comments

  1. could you recommend a substitution for the coconut? I can substitute sun butter for the peanut, and cashews for the almond, but I am struggling to find recipes for a family whose infant is allergic to almond, coconut, egg, milk, oat, peanut, sesame, soy, pea, pea protein, chickpea, and lentils. Because she is only 8 months and is so sensitive, the whole family is eliminating these foods.
    any help would be appreciated

    1. Hi Paula! We understand how challenging food allergies can be! This recipe is really flexible. The primary base is the puffed brown rice cereal and quinoa flakes. Everything else you can adjust as needed. You’re welcome to leave the coconut flakes out altogether—you’ll just lose some volume in the overall batch. Or you can replace that cup by increasing the amounts of the other seeds, nuts, and fruits. Or swapping in anything that’s not off limits like sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, etc. It may take some experimenting, but hopefully you’ll land on a combo that works for everyone! And when the little one is old enough to munch on granola, she’ll have an allergen-free version already family tested and approved. Good luck! Please let us know how it turns out for you =)

  2. I am allergic to nickel and follow a low nickel diet. Oats are a big trigger for me. If they bother you, consider getting tested for a nickel allergy.

  3. Made your granola today. I almost would say it’s closer to a museli than granola, which I prefer. Lower on sweetener and no additional oil, and the peanut butter smelled so good while baking.
    The one thing I found is that the coconut was browning much too quickly during step 1. I only did 5 minutes and then baked the entire mixture for just over 20 minutes at 300°. Nice and toasty, crunchy and satisfying.
    I may have added a bit more than a pinch of salt and that tasted so good to me. I used natural pb – no added salt, so I thought a little more salt was called for.
    I also used this Kashi puffed grain cereal for the brown rice cereal. I just love that stuff.
    Oh, I also used barley flakes. I’m not sure where that falls in the allergy realm, but it is what I had on hand.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I don’t think I needed the prebake of quinoa flakes and coconut. I definitely don’t think you should add the fruit before baking, it will become very hard! It did not stick together very well and I attribute that to the rice cereal soaking up the liquid. I will add more next time or add an egg white. Otherwise, this was very tasty!

  5. Thanks for this good recipe. I use organic coconut oil and honey to mix in with my granola. I am now completely off oats as my GERD is so bad and my herbalist said even though I am gluten and dairy free it maybe oats that are also a no no. I used to have porridge every morning so I really miss that.

  6. I am so excited to find this recipe! I LOVE oatmeal and have been looking fo a substitute for so long and can’t wait to try it! I am one of the oat-banana-kiwi (among other things) allergy people, too. This is kind of off-topic, but my allergist told me that the banana allergy is actually related to my severe ragweed allergy – that they contain a similar chemical and my body reacts to bananas because it thinks it’s ragweed. Anyone that has these similar sensitivities have a ragweed allergy? Just curious… thanks for the recipe!