Gluten-Free Blueberry Vanilla Granola
This is hands down my favorite granola recipes of all the different versions I make, and let’s be honest, granola is a “thing” for me!! The sweet and tender blueberries, toasty almonds, and fragrant vanilla are beautifully combined, and the best part is that it’s made with all whole food ingredients and no refined oils! Make up a large batch because I promise your whole family will be eating this for breakfast and snacks!
When ever I have a recipe that calls for oats or oatmeal, I always try to make sure that they are sprouted, why? Well, when you sprout anything like oats, beans, seeds or nuts, you increase the nutrient density of the food as well as reduce the anti-nutrients (phytates, lectins, and avenin), because they not only make it more difficult to extract the nutrients from the food, but they will hinder the absorption of other nutrients in your food and diet.
Why Oatmeal is So Good For You!
First, let’s dive into the nutrition of oatmeal, the benefits from adding this gluten free grain to your diet, and the different types of oatmeal and my personal recommendation as a nutritionist.
Nutriton in Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a gluten free grain that is a great source of macronutrients, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber! Although oatmeal is high in carbohydrates, it contains a fair amount of fat, protein and fiber that helps to slow the absorption of the carbohydrates making this a low-medium glycemic food . And when prepared with other nutrient dense foods like pure pumpkin purée and whole milk or plant milk, you have a super nutritious food that supports health blood sugars.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): A water soluble vitamin that is essential in glucose metabolism and supports health heart and nervous system function.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): Essential in supporting metabolic pathways.
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Essential in metabolic pathways, production of red blood cells, and in supporting the adrenals.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Essential in supporting a healthy and strong immune system
- Vitamin B9 (folate): Essential in metabolic pathways, in the production of red and white blood cells, and is essential in pregnancy in the development of the neural tube.
- Calcium: Supports healthy bones and teeth and is essential in nervous system health, heart health, and muscle movement.
- Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function .
- Iron: Necessary in the formation of hemoglobin and maintaining proper body temperature.
- Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.
- Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function .
- Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
- Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.
There are two primary types of fiber found in whole grains and the other plants we eat, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber helps to keep our digestive tracts healthy and helps with detoxification. Soluble fiber is beneficial and feeds the good microbes in our gut. Oatmeal is loaded with both of these amazing fibers and another fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber has been found to support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and is a super food that supports overall health and wellbeing 
Which Oatmeal Should I Choose?
With so many types of oatmeal out there, which ones are the healthiest and most nutrient dense? One thing you want to think about is looking for the most “whole” version of the grain, this is going to be the least processed, and if you can find sprouted, even better!! Sprouting increases the nutrient density of the grain and the bioavailability of it by reducing the phytates, which are anti-nutrients that reduce absorption of nutrients.
Types of Oatmeal
- Oat Groats : These are the most whole food and intact version of oats you can find. The hull of the grain has been removed, but it has not been processed any further. These oats take the longest to cook (around 40-minutes) but are nutty and delicious!
- Steel Cut Oats: These oats are also called Irish oats and are basically whole oat groats that have been cut into 2-4 pieces with a steel blade. They still take a bit of time to cook (around 30-minutes), but they have a chewy texture and are a great whole food option!
- Old Fashioned/Rolled Oats: These oats are the whole oat groat that has been steamed and rolled. These are my favorite oats as they are still the whole grain and only take about 10-minutes to cook!
- Instant/Quick Oats: These oats are not my favorite oat when I want a bowl of oatmeal since they are processed more heavily and rolled even thinner than the rolled oats. They do not have the same chewy texture, but only take a few minutes (less than 5-minutes) to cook. These oats are my preferred oats when making homemade granola bars, breads or oatmeal cookies.
Should I Buy Organic Oats?
Yes, yes, yes!! Every single type of oat and oat product that you buy should be organic if possible. Conventional oats are often genetically modified (GMO) and one of the most heavily treated foods American’s eat. Oats are treated with a toxic herbicide called glyphosphate  (which is basically RoundUp) and in 2015, was shown to be carcinogenic to humans . What is concerning is that conventional oats (treated with glyphosphate) are in so many cereals, snack bars, and oat based foods that many households have and children eat.
So grab some organic oats and let’s get cooking!
Gluten-Free Blueberry Vanilla Granola Ingredients
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 cup Gluten-free Organic Rolled Oats (I use sprouted)
1 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
1 cup Raw Slivered Almonds
1 cup Raw Sliced Almonds
8oz Sugar-Free Dried Blueberries
How to Make Gluten-Free Blueberry Vanilla Granola
1. Preheat the oven to 285 degrees for Convection/300 degrees for Conventional
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the applesauce, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
3. Add all of the dry ingredients EXCEPT the dried blueberries!
4. Mix well to evenly coat and spread into a thin layer over a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 75-90 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes to allow for even cooking and to minimize burning.
6. Once the granola is slightly browned and dried out, remove it from oven and stir in blueberries.
7. Cool completely and store in an air tight container.
Enjoy with your favorite yogurt, ice cream or enjoy all on it’s own with some fresh fruit for a healthy whole food breakfast or snack!
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Q: My granola is soggy, what happened?
A: It sounds like you needed to cook it for a little longer. Try testing a spoonful before removing from the oven by letting it cool on a clean plate.
Q: My granola isn’t clumping, is that okay?
A: This recipe is not a “clumping” granola recipe, so a looser granola is the desired outcome.
Q: What can I use instead of maple syrup?
A: Pure, raw honey is the next best thing for this recipe, if you want it to be less sweet, add half the amount of maple syrup or honey and increase by that amount of more applesauce.
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Paleo Pear and Fig Granola: I am sure you will love this beautiful Paleo granola with its subtle hints of pear and cardamom that perfectly pair with sweet dried smyrna figs and coconut.
Pumpkin Spice Yogurt with Gingersnap Toffee Topping: This is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast! The toffee topping is so good over any dairy free, unsweetened yogurt.
Paleo Vanilla Granola: This easy nutritious granola will keep you satisfied all morning long and has the beautiful flavor combination of vanilla and almond.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. – Amy
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.