Gluten-Free Goji Berry Granola

Photo of a sheet pan with goji berri granola and a bowl of goji berries.

Granola is such an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack, yet store-bought versions can be loaded with sugar.

Not to mention… really expensive.

It’s healthy, frugal, easy, and fun to make your own naturally sweetened granola! Get the kids involved and make a big batch this weekend to have throughout the week.

For even more nourishment, I add antioxidant-rich goji berries and cacao to this granola. You’ll find some mix-in ideas at the end of this post for youths with a discerning palate. Add whatever mix-ins they desire after baking and cooling the granola if your kiddos are — ahem particular.

The Benefits Of Goji Berries

Those pretty red berries are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and iron. They are rich in antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin which may help prevent macular degeneration (source). Full of beta-carotene and other antioxidants known as polyphenols which help repair cell damage from harmful free radicals.

For these reasons, goji berries are a healthy addition to your day.

Also, WFN’s dried goji berries are versatile! Eat them raw or cooked, or add them to herbal teas, hot or cold cereals, smoothies, baked goods, and even juices.

One note of caution, if you take blood thinners or medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, you may wish to consult your physician as they can possibly interfere with those medications.

The Benefits Of Cacao

Raw cacao nibs are crushed and dehydrated cocoa beans — the foundation upon which all chocolate is built.

Unfortunately, the processing to turn raw cacao into chocolate eliminates most of the goodness of raw cacao.  Manufacturers fill that void with sugar, of course.

Ladies, we know how essential chocolate is for certain times of the month! This is the dark chocolate you should reach for to receive the maximum benefit of cacao’s ability to soothe the savage within.

It’s not magic, either — cacao has been said to boost serotonin levels in the brain to help your mood, and also contains anandamide which is known as the “bliss molecule.”

Read about 8 more benefits of cacao here!

Gluten-Free Goji Berry Granola

Get the health benefits and delicious, natural sweetness of goji berries and cacao in a lightly sweetened granola — that takes just 30 minutes to make and bake!

This Gluten-Free Goji Berry Granola is lightly sweetened with WFN’s Coconut Sugar and Coconut Syrup. I don’t like things overly sweet, so feel free to add a bit more of either or both if you think it needs it.

Then, let it cool, break it into bits, and enjoy as a breakfast cereal, yogurt topping, or quick snack.

Mix-in Ideas For Kids With Discerning Palates

I surveyed my kiddos (who do not like coconut or cacao) who suggested these mix-ins:

Have you ever used goji berries in granola? What are your favorite mix-ins?

Gluten-Free Goji Berry Granola
Making your own naturally sweetened, gluten-free goji berry granola is not only healthy and frugal, it's easy and fun! Get the kids involved and make a big batch on the weekend to have throughout the week.
Servings4 people
Prep Time5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes or less
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut sugar, salt, and spices.
  3. If you're using raw sunflower seeds, you can add them now or after the granola is baked and cooled.
  4. Next, add melted coconut oil and coconut syrup and stir well, making sure all the oats are coated.
  5. Evenly spread mixture onto a stoneware baking sheet** or a parchment paper-lined metal baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time.
  7. Watch carefully as coconut sugar and syrup can easily over-brown!
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  9. Finally, when the granola has cooled, break into clumps and mix in the goji berries, cacao, sunflower seeds (if not added before baking), and shredded coconut or add any other mix-ins as desired.
Recipe Notes

To lightly toast the coconut, heat in a skillet over medium heat while stirring frequently for 3 to 5 minutes.

**If using a stoneware baking sheet, I recommend transferring the baked granola to another pan, dish or parchment paper on the counter to cool so it doesn't continue to cook on the stoneware.

The post Gluten-Free Goji Berry Granola appeared first on Wildly Organic.

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