Maple Pecan Granola – This sweet and crunchy gluten-free granola is delicious with yogurt, sprinkled over a smoothie bowl, and munched on by the handful. Gluten free, vegan, and naturally sweetened!
Updated from the archives.
Michael finally requested I get back to making it and I’m so glad he did! It’s what got me this method for Maple Pecan Granola…
One of my favorite recipes from our pre-gluten-free days used wheat germ as a way to help bind the oats into these tidy little clusters I just loved. It was AWESOME. I never really found a replacement for the wheat germ when we changed our diet, so my granola (while delicious!) hasn’t stuck together quite the same way.
Then, I stumbled across this recipe from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free (love her!) and saw that she uses almond flour to achieve the same goal. GENIUS! I immediately revisited my old favorite maple pecan granola with this new technique in mind and–what do you know–it works like a charm!
My clusters aren’t giant, but they’re more consistent, which I really love. Sprinkled over a smoothie bowl or munched on by the handful, this granola is a keeper.
Here’s all you need to get started…
Here’s What Goes Into Our Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Granola Recipe:
- Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. Our gluten-free maple pecan granola recipe starts with rolled oats. These oats have a great sturdy texture that holds up well when baked. I don’t recommend quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats here.
- Chopped Pecans. Roughly chopped pecans (the pieces are larger), work great in this pecan granola, because you get a delightful pecan bit in every bite! Try not to chop the pecans too finely here or they’ll burn.
- Almond Flour. A trick I learned from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free is that almond flour can help the oats and pecans hold together better to create lovely granola clusters. Plus, you get some healthy fats and protein–win-win!
- Hemp Seeds. Another protein boost. Hemp seeds don’t add much flavor-wise (nothing to worry about if you’re nervous!), but do add some plant-based protein to this maple pecan granola. It gives it more staying power!
- Pure Maple Syrup. Adding maple syrup lends this gluten-free granola its signature flavor and some lovely sweetness.
- Melted Coconut Oil. I use melted coconut oil for another subtle layer of sweetness, but you could absolutely use melted butter or a neutral-tasting oil (like avocado) if you prefer.
- Vanilla. Some vanilla adds another hint of sweetness without added sugar. I love what it does to granola!
- Salt. Last, but not least, some salt balances the flavors. Don’t skip this!
5 Yummy Ways To Serve Maple Pecan Granola:
- As Cereal With Milk! Nothing groundbreaking here perhaps, but I’ll just say that a little bowl of this maple pecan granola + some cold almond milk + fresh berries = one amazing snack or breakfast!
- Over Yogurt! Spooning crunchy gluten-free granola over creamy yogurt is such a delight! I love that texture contrast!
- On A Smoothie Bowl. I LOVE adding something crunchy to my smoothie bowls (especially acai bowls!), and this maple pecan granola is a TOTAL winner on smoothie bowls!
- On Top Of Chia Pudding or Overnight Oats. Similarly, adding a crunchy garnish over a creamy bowl of chia pudding is delicious. Try it with our Creamy Coconut Chia Pudding or Pumpkin Overnight Oats.
- Layered In Parfaits! Add layers of yogurt or chia pudding, berry puree, fresh fruit, and this maple pecan granola to make a gorgeous (and majorly delicious!) parfait.
FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST MAPLE PECAN GRANOLA:
How To Get Bigger Clusters In Granola. My biggest tip to get nice clusters in granola is NOT to stir when the granola is cooling. You’ll stir twice while it’s cooking to get even browning, but then you’ll pack it down and leave it all the way alone while it cools. Do not disturb!
If you want the really big clusters, I’ve found that an egg white is really the only way that works for me every time. You’d simply whisk up an egg white and stir it into the granola mixture before baking. (Naturally, this won’t work if you’re vegan or have allergies).
Change up the flavor. This is gluten-free granola recipe is super adaptable recipe. Swap out the pecans for almonds or cashews or hazelnuts. Try honey or agave instead of syrup. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or chai spice. Stir in some dried cherries or raisins to the finished product. Take this as a method and make it your own!
Gluten-Free? Be Sure To Use Gluten-Free Oats! Oats themselves don’t contain wheat gluten, but they’re often farmed and processed in a way that can cause cross-contamination. If you’re sensitive to gluten, be sure to buy certified gluten free oats. We love Bob’s Red Mill, Trader Joe’s, and One Degree Brands. As for almond flour, you can use just about any kind here since it’s more for binding than achieving the tenderness or cohesiveness you’d need in a muffin, for instance.
Don’t skip the nonstick liner. Whether you choose to use parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat, remembering to use a nonstick liner for your pan will keep your oatmeal from burning and sticking.