Gluten Free (GF) Granola

GF Granola accompanied by our (cookie-jar) cat

Back in the day, we used to eat granola in the morning with milk or yogurt for breakfast, as a snack throughout the day, and in the evening to top fruit or ice cream. I am not sure why we stopped making it (and eating it), however of the blue last week my husband asked if I would make him some granola. Now we are off and running again.

As a student at the University of Michigan I burned my fair share of granola using a standard recipe that required baking the granola at high heat. So I decided that my granola recipe would be cooktop-compatible. Granola also has a reputation for being very sweet and oily. This recipe cuts back on the sugar and omits oil completely without any sacrifice in taste. Now with a greater need for gluten free (GF) recipes, I have substituted ground flax seed for the traditional wheat germ., bringing us to the recipe below.

Over the last few days we have enjoyed two batches of this recipe without even noticing the change. If you are looking for a healthy snack for yourself or your family, give it a try!


1 1/2  Cups thick-cut rolled oats (oatmeal)

1/3 Cup broken cashew pieces, walnuts, almonds and/or other raw nuts

1/4 Cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 Cup sesame seeds

1/4 Cup shredded coconut (optional)

1/4 Cup ground flax seeds

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T brown sugar

1/3 Cup raisins (optional)

This recipe is easiest to prepare in a large pan with relatively high sides.  The ingredients have a tendency to scatter while being stirred, and a high-sided frying pan, wok or a wide sauté pan is ideal for keeping them in the pan.  

1.  Over low heat, stir together the rolled oats, cashew pieces, and sunflower seeds.  Stir for five to ten minutes, until the oats and cashew begin to brown.  If in doubt, taste a sunflower seed.  It should taste almost done. 

2.  Next, add the sesame seeds, coconut (if desired), and ground flax seeds, and stir together with the other Ingredients.  (If you can’t find ground flax seeds at the store you can easily grind whole flax seeds with an immersion blender – that’s what I do.)   Stir for another five minutes, until the sesame seeds and become golden brown.

3.  Add the salt and the brown sugar.  Mix well to evenly distribute them among the other Ingredients.

4.  Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding raisins (if desired).  Store in an airtight container to maintain freshness.  If your family is anything like mine storage won’t be an issue!

Published by skfinston

Born February 21, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan; enjoying 2nd Middle Age in Zichron Yaakov, Israel. After a misspent youth in the US Foreign Service (postings in London, Tel Aviv and Manila), I moved to the Semi-private Sector, working for a leading trade association in Washington DC before launching my own company Finston Consulting in 2005. Over the last 15+ years I have worked with innovative companies ranging from Fortune-100 to start up, as well as NGOs, and governments, including service as a cleared advisor (Secret level) to the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative (IPR, Tariff/Trade Facilitation). As a graduate of the University of Michigan, my degrees include a Bachelors of Science (Philosophy, High Honors), Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy. After law school I clerked at the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit before joining the U.S. Foreign Service (TSI-CodeWord Clearance). I am a member of the Illinois and US Supreme Court Bar.

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