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If Oats Are Gluten-Free, Is Granola Gluten-Free Too?

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If Oats Are Gluten-Free, Is Granola Gluten-Free Too?

If Oats Are Gluten-Free, Is Granola Gluten-Free Too?

Is Granola Gluten-Free?

Granola is gluten-free if it contains uncontaminated oats plus other gluten-free ingredients. So if oats are gluten-free, then it's highly likely that granola is too.

But, it's crucial to know what to look for on packaging to ensure that oats and granola meet proper standards to define them as being free from gluten. If you're making homemade granola, you'll benefit from knowing some easy ways to identify the gluten content in granola ingredients. The tips that follow should help clear things up.

  • Pre-packaged granola: I'll explain what to look for on the packaging to meet gluten-free requirements. Because the easiest way to tell if a manufactured cereal is truly gluten-free is to read and understand the dietary information found on the packaging.
  • Homemade granola: You may want to consider making granola yourself. By using the right ingredients, you can make authentic, 100% gluten-free granola that is simple, enjoyable, and affordable. I'll show you how to use an easy building-block method using only gluten-free ingredients.

Pre-Packaged Granola

Reading the labels on packaged granola is the quickest way to find out if it contains gluten or not.

According to American food standards regulations, foods that are labeled gluten-free must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Granola must list the name of the grain in the ingredient list on the label if it contains any form of wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.

Foods with these labels may include naturally gluten-free products as well as non-cross-contaminated granola without ingredients derived from gluten.

The Trouble With Oats

Before we get any further, let's talk about the trouble with oats. Oats are the foundation of any good granola, whether it's store-bought or homemade.

Oats are naturally gluten-free when they are pure and uncontaminated, but they may come into contact with gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye, and barley while being harvested, stored, or transported.

For that reason, there's a chance that oats in some granolas may not be gluten-free, but you would be able to quickly identify that on the packaging.

In the meantime, to help clear up the widespread misunderstanding regarding the safety of oats, as well as oat flour, you may want to watch this video explaining how oats are processed.

An example of oats certified to be gluten-free

An example of oats certified to be gluten-free

Homemade Granola

You might want to think about making your own breakfast cereal so that you know for sure that your granola is gluten-free.

You can make authentic, 100% gluten-free granola that is quick, tasty, and inexpensive by using the right ingredients. I'll demonstrate how to make your own granola using only gluten-free ingredients using a simple building-block method.

Only a few simple but delicious ingredients are needed to make granola: oats, a sweetener, some oil, and any conceivable combination of nuts or dried fruit. Once you've mastered that fundamental recipe, making granola to your preferences is even simpler.

There are many searchable recipes for homemade granola, and which recipe you choose is entirely up to you. But the critical thing to know is that most recipes call for a mix of these basic ingredients:

  • Oil
  • Sweetener
  • Seasonings
  • Oats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruit

By using these building blocks, and by understanding the gluten-free options in each category, you can quickly mix and match ingredients to make a variety of healthy breakfast solutions.

Basic Building Blocks of Homemade Granola

Oils

Most cooking oils naturally contain no gluten. Canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, and vegetable oil are a few types of gluten-friendly oils. Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut flour are all gluten-free raw, unflavored derivatives of coconut. Coconut oil also makes a tasty choice for gluten-free granola because it has a warm, nutty flavor and many health advantages.

Sweetener

Honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup are all excellent options for gluten-free liquid sweeteners. In your homemade granola, you may want to consider using honey or maple syrup. Unlike regular sugar, which only provides sweetness, honey and maple syrup also contribute to the caramel, vanilla, and floral flavors that make granola interesting to eat.

Seasonings

Salt and cinnamon are the only two seasonings that granola needs. Gluten is not present at all in salt. Cinnamon is a spice made from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree and is gluten-free. While cinnamon that is obtained naturally is free of gluten, processed cinnamon powder occasionally contains gluten. If unsure, check the seasoning packaging's dietary information.

Oats

Oats are considered one of the world's healthiest grains. They contain significant amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and, as we discussed earlier, they are naturally gluten-free. Oats and oatmeal have numerous health benefits, according to research. These consist of decreased blood sugar levels, weight loss, and a lower risk of heart disease.

Nuts and Seeds

Instead of flavor- or dry-roasted-flavored nuts, choose plain nuts to make your granola gluten-free. When choosing dry-roasted nuts, be sure to read the label because the coating frequently contains wheat flour. Peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds, and walnuts are examples of natural nuts that would be excellent gluten-free granola ingredient choices. Sesame and sunflower seeds are free of gluten as well, making them superb add-ins to any homemade granola recipe.

Dried Fruit

Given that most plain and unsweetened dried fruits are gluten-free, there are many options for dried fruit. One thing to consider is where the fruit is processed and whether there is a risk of cross-contamination with gluten. As a result, it's wise to quickly scan the ingredient label for any warning signs. Patients with celiac disease and other gluten-related diseases should be able to consume dried blueberries without any issues. Cranberries that are dried and unsweetened are also gluten-free as well as a significant source of fiber.

Gluten-Free Granola Ingredients

Get creative! Simply mix and match gluten-free ingredients from each of the six categories.

CategoryGranola Example #1Granola Example #2

Oils

Coconut Oil

Peanut Oil

Sweetener

Honey

Maple Syrup

Seasonings

Salt; Cinnamon

Salt; Cinnamon

Oats

Quick Oats

Large Grain Oats

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds; Pecans; Sunflower Seeds

Peanuts; Walnuts; Sesame Seeds

Dried Fruit

Cranberries

Blueberries

Homemade gluten-free granola

Homemade gluten-free granola

Combining Granola Ingredients

Now that you know how to mix and match gluten-free ingredients, wikiHow explains how you can put it all together and make three different kinds of granola, with step by step instructions and pictures:

  • 3 Ways to Make Granola - wikiHow
    Buying bags of granola at the grocery store may seem more convenient, but it's actually really easy to make your own delicious granola at home. All you need are a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, a few...

So, Is Granola Gluten-Free?

Since no two granolas are the same, it is difficult to tell which ones are gluten-free by simply looking at them. However, if we know what to look for on the packaging, we can quickly tell if store-bought oats and granola contain gluten or not. Reading and understanding the dietary information found on the packaging is the simplest way to determine whether a manufactured cereal is actually gluten-free.

But the best way of knowing with certainty that granola is gluten-free is to make it yourself, using naturally gluten-free oats plus a mixture of other ingredients that don't contain gluten. In doing so, you can easily create gluten-free granola that is simple, enjoyable, and affordable.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek