I can’t help it. Granola is the first food that comes to mind when Earth Day rolls around. But this isn’t your ordinary granola. What if I told you it was a naturally dairy-free, soy-free, oil-free, and gluten-free granola recipe? What if I said that you wouldn’t even need to buy gluten-free oats to make it gluten-free, and you could make it without any specialty ingredients? Yes, a simple crispy oat-free granola recipe that works for almost everyone. Well, what are you waiting for? Preheat that oven!
This Crispy Oat-Free Granola is the Ultimate Earth Day Breakfast
I did hesitate to call this recipe granola, since it is so light and crispy. In terms of texture, it is like a cross between cereal and granola, but we found it to be just filling enough to earn the granola label. And it just begs to be customized to your personal tastes. Toss in some raisins or dried cranberries, sprinkle on some extra spices, use seeds instead of nuts, or eat it with a handful of mini chocolate chips. I have some more options in the FAQs below.
Can I Use a Different Cereal?
You certainly can. I use crispy rice cereal because of the size and texture. You can use crispy flakes instead. I would just avoid sweet cereal options.
Can I Use Oats?
Yes! Oats work great if you don’t need an oat-free granola. You can swap them in for the cereal.
Will Other Sweeteners Work?
You can swap in honey or agave nectar, which will give you a slightly sweeter granola. You will need a liquid for your base sweetener, but if you want the oat-free granola to be sweeter, you can add a little coconut sugar or brown sugar.
I Don’t Like Cashews. Can I Use Other Nuts or Seeds?
Of course. Some that I like include sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans. You can also use sunflower seeds and even sub sunflower seed butter for the nut butter to make this a nut-free granola.
Can I Make it Coconut Free?
Yes, go ahead an omit it if you prefer. You could also up the flaxseeds to 1/4 cup or toss in some more nuts.
Should I Use Whole or Ground Flaxseed?
I use whole flaxseed, but you can use ground if preferred.
What Brand of Cereal Do You Use?
As many of you might have noticed, not all crispy rice cereals are allergy-friendly. I originally created this recipe for Erewhon, over a decade ago, but that brand is no longer available. So I’ve updated this post to use your brand / cereal of choice. That said, One Degree Organics and Nature’s Path each make crispy brown rice cereals that I recommend.
Special Diet Notes: Crispy Oat-Free Granola
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free, oat-free granola, you can substitute your favorite seeds, or blend of seeds, for the cashews, and sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter for the nut butter.
For coconut-free, simply omit the coconut. You can optionally add dried fruit in its place.
- 3 cups crispy brown rice cereal (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 cups cashews, chopped
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons cashew butter or other nut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cereal and nuts.
- In a small pan, whisk together the maple syrup, nut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Place the pan over medium-low heat, and bring the mixture to a low boil, while whisking. Simmer the mixture at a low boil, while whisking, for about a minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the maple mixture over the cereal and nuts in your bowl. Sprinkle on the coconut and flaxseeds, and then gently stir to combine and coat everything with the gooey mixture.
- Spread the cereal mixture out on two cookie sheets (greased or lined with a silicone baking mat – I use the baking mat) or in two 9 x 13” glass baking pans. Keep in mind that metal (not lined with a silicone baking mat) will cook (and burn) the granola-cereal much faster than glass. You may want to reduce the oven temp to 275ºF if using metal.
- Bake the cereal for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes for even cooking, or until it is browned and crispy to your liking.