Going gluten-free isn’t the easiest thing in the world to commit to, mostly because just about everything we eat seems to have gluten in it to one degree or another. Plus, you always have to consider cross-contamination as a contributing factor with foods that are supposed to be gluten-free.
For the most part, granola is not gluten-free, regardless of what form it takes. Gramola is often put together using whole wheat ingredients, which are loaded with gluten. Some of the flavorings have gluten in them as well. Even granola that doesn’t have gluten in it is often cross-contaminated.
So if you love granola but your body just can’t handle the gluten, you can cross a lot of granola brands off of your list. Fortunately, there are some newer brands out there that will provide you with a granola fix, entirely gluten-free.
Granola Brands that are Gluten-Free
The good news is that there are several gluten-free granola brands out there. The bad news is that you’re going to pay a premium for them. These aren’t like the BOGO deals and the $2.00 granola brands that make up the vast majority of the granola section in the grocery store.
If you really need some granola in your life and can’t tolerate gluten, you will have to pay a pretty penny for the luxury.
Bakery on Main
Bakery Main produces bags of oats that you can eat like popcorn and they come in a variety of flavors. According to Bakery on Main, the factories that they use to produce their granola products are entirely gluten-free.
They also claim that all of their products are Celiac-friendly. This is probably true considering the fact that they would leave themselves wide open for a heck of a lawsuit if they weren’t. They also engage in ethical sourcing and all of their granola products are Non-GMO.
KIND has an entire page on its website that is completely dedicated to the “KIND Promise.”
All of their granola products are gluten-free and Non-GMO. KIND also strives to keep the amount of sugar in their granola and other products as low as possible.
They also avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, both of which are incredibly bad for your body.
The “Naked” part in the Bear Naked name is an implication that all of their products are completely free of gluten and are non-GMO products. Bear Naked has a large list that shows you exactly which products are gluten-free and which ones are good for vegans as well.
According to Bear Naked, “We define clean as minimally processed granolas that are Non-GMO Project Verified and use ingredients that you can see and recognize.”
The following brands are some of the other selections out there that are completely gluten-free:
You Can Make Homemade, Gluten-Free Granola
Fortunately, the major ingredient in granola is oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free so starting with a gluten-free product is a huge advantage. The only problem is, that purchasing granola is inherently risky because, like so many things in the food production industry, it can easily become contaminated with gluten throughout its processing.
You can only purchase your oats from well-known, gluten-free facilities. That means looking for the gluten-free label on any package of oats that you buy. Most of the above-listed producers of granola also sell large volumes of just oats and they are guaranteed to be gluten-free.
You’ll also need a few other ingredients if you want to make your own, gluten-free granola.
Unsweetened Coconut Chips
Once you have all of the above ingredients together, you will have to consider what you want to mix in there with it, in terms of seeds and textures. For instance, if you want your granola mix to be more chocolatey, include some semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.
You can also add a host of other types of nuts and seeds in there, like cashews, pecans, raisins, peanuts, pistachios, etc.
Last but not least, every item that you want to mix in with your granola has to be thoroughly vetted as well. Some of those items either have gluten in them or are potentially cross-contaminated throughout their processing. If you are looking for an excellent granola recipe, you will find one here.
One of the neatest things about granola is that there are so many combinations and recipes out there. The possibilities are nearly limitless but if you have specific tastes, there is probably a recipe or two out there that will accommodate you.
How to Find Gluten-Free Granola
If you’re reading this while standing in the shopping aisle, the only thing that you can do is look at the packaging until you find a gluten-free sticker or logo, usually on the back or the bottom but sometimes presented right up front.
At home, there are four websites that you can go to if you want to get all of the information available on the industry as a whole, and how it deals with gluten throughout its production processes.
GFCO is probably one of the most recognized gluten-free certifications out there and it’s the most common one that you will find labeled on the food that you purchase at the grocery store.
The NSF is a third-party certification group that you can check with if you ever have something that isn’t labeled but that you suspect is gluten-free. Beyond Celiac and the National Celiac Association are coordinated and focused on those who suffer from Celiac Disease.
For the most part, the granola that you will find in stores is not going to be gluten-free. If you want gluten-free granola, you will either have to seek out the brands that we listed above or make your own, homemade recipe. Fortunately, the latter is quite easy, fun, and delicious.