Making gluten-free Goji berry almond granola was an experiment to see how using a super food would fare in my homemade granola. Many of you may have never heard of Goji berries. You can find them in most organic food stores in the dried fruit section. What exactly is a Goji berry? It is a grape-size tart red berry, also known as a wolfberry, that is mainly grown throughout Asia. According to Organic Facts, the health benefits of Goji berries are huge! So naturally adding them to granola made sense. Read on to find out what worked and what didn’t!
I may have mentioned in a past post that my husband and I bought a green house. One of the many plants we bought was a Goji berry tree. It is small now, and may not produce any fruit for a couple of years, but it has almost tripled in size since we bought it in June!
For those of you who live in tropical regions where you can grow fruit, this will be no big deal to you. But for those of us who live up north, this is a BIG DEAL! We are growing our very own citrus trees! Ask me next year, after winter, if they’re still alive, but for now, they are my little green babies and we’re looking to keep them warm when the winter months hit our region.
When creating the recipe, I tried to keep the sugar level low and added a small amount of pure maple syrup, along with coconut palm sugar (a low glycemic sugar) to sweeten the granola. Next, I added unsweetened coconut and almonds to add a little more substance. If you are not able to locate dried Goji berries you can always add your favorite dried fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.
I look at my recipes like a test kitchen, some work perfectly and others need a little tweak here and there to make them perfect. This recipe needed a little tweak. When I make it again, I will save the goji berries and add them at the very end. Not only did they nearly burn in the hot oven, but I’m sure they lost most of their nutritional advantage. I added this step in for you on the recipe.
If you are interested in making granola bars, you will want to form the granola in a rectangle and push up the sides so they are at least one inch high. If you are making granola, spread the mixture evenly over the parchment covered cookie sheet. If you choose to make granola instead of the bars, add the Goji berries after the granola comes out of the oven and has cooled.
Once the granola is finished cooking, allow to cool before cutting the bars, or crumble for granola and store in an airtight container. Use it to top ice cream, yogurt, or just eat it plain.
Gluten Free Goji Berry Almond Granola & Bars
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
|Meal type||Breakfast, Snack|
- 2 1/4 cups GF Old Fashioned Oats
- 3/4 cups Raw Almonds (or other favorite nuts)
- 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil
- 1/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup Hemp Seeds
- 3/4 cups Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 cups Goji Berries (or other dried fruit)
|Preheat oven to 400 degrees|
|Mix oats and almonds in a large bowl and spread out over a large baking sheet. Cook in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees.|
|In a large bowl, add toasted oats and nuts, coconut, and hemp seeds. Blend until fully incorporated.|
|Bring oil, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, and salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for one minute. Remove and immediately pour over oat mixture. Stir to evenly coat. (If making granola bars, add the Goji berries at this point. If making granola, add the Goji Berries after they come out of the oven).Transfer granola to parchment-covered cookie tray. Form into one inch high rectangle if bars are desired, or spread evenly throughout pan if crumbled granola is desired.|
|Bake for 10 minutes in 325 degree oven. Turn pan to evenly bake, and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars, or store crumbled granola in an airtight container.|
This recipe is shared on RaiasRecipes
Thank you, Bethany! It is really good on yogurt. 🙂
Those granola bars look delicious! I love all the berries in them. 🙂 How fun that you have your own green house! My hubby and I just planted our first fruit tree – dwarf peach – hopefully it survives my brown thumb!
Thank you so much for sharing these with us at Allergy Free Thursdays!