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.


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.


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.


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!


  • 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


  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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  1. i love that its been about 4 years since this great recipe was posted and it’s still getting great feedback and questions from those in need of a great recipe like this! i too have an oat allegy kid in my house found your recipe to be a great one- but for anyone else out there with the oat allergy i have also since discovered how helpful Barley Can be with oat allergies!!! While looking for other solutions to eliminating oats I found Rolled Barley Flakes! They look and work just like old fashioned rolled oats and you can substitute them into any recipe calling for oats- works perfect- so I know make my kids their own granola bars with barley flakes instead of oats! and i have also since starting using Barley Flour (found at Co-op grocery store and some bulk stores) in all my baking with the exception of bread as I havent tried that yet but the flour works basically like a whole wheat flour. I know barley isnt a good substitute for a celiac gluten allergy but for an oat allergy its a great remedy!! and yesterday I found “Quick Barley” which im thinking is like like quick oats from the Co-op Grocery store so im excited to try this new product too! good luck out there everyone and keep up the cooking creativity!

  2. Oddly enough, I have both latex food sensitivities (so I stay away from a bunch of fruits as my stomach cannot handle them ) and a nickel allergery, which oatmeal has one of the biggest percentages of nickel. I was having lots of skin issues also. My dermatologist suggested just on a whim to try a nickel elimination diet. As soon as I quit the oatmeal, I couldn’t believe how my skin changed.

  3. Awesome to see a gluten-free oat-free granola recipe. I have an anaphylactic reaction to oats, and my daughter is gluten-free, dairy free, and I’ve been wanting to have some granola that both of us could eat. This will do it!

  4. Could you use regular rice instead of puffed? I’m wondering if I just made brown rice and toasted it if it would work. Any thoughts?

  5. I have never met anyone else with an oat allergy. I am both gluten intolerant and severely oat allergic. Like epi pen allergic. I never liked oatmeal but I loved granola. Thank you so much for

  6. I also have an oat allergy and it’s great to finally hear of someone else with it. I am 38 years old and your son is the first one other than myself I have hear of. I completely understand your frustration in shopping for many items other than food. Thank you for the great recipe

  7. Ohhhh! After reading your article I just realised I’m allergic to kiwi! Like you I thought it was something natural or maybe cause kiwis weren’t ripe enough 🙂

  8. Holy Crap – There is another! (and a few others it seems). I’ve spent the last 25ish years thinking I was the only person allergic to oats. I can always tell if I’ve missed some wayward oat flour on an ingredient list! So grateful to see a “granola” recipe without oats. (For the record – I still crave oatmeal raisin cookies and Apple Jacks – the struggle is real)

  9. I have been allergic to oats for all my 55 years, ate them everyday, felt so bad they couldn’t figure it out until they tested me! Then said you don’t eat them everyday? Haven’t eaten them in 30 plus years, nice to see no oat recipes!! If I get them mixed in something now I know right away!

  10. We have discovered several food allergies in the household. I am allergic to cinnamon, coconut and thyme. My mom is allergic to cinnamon and oats. It makes for some interesting recipe alterations though.