Gluten Free Lemon, Ginger and Cranberry Granola | Grain Free, Low FODMAP

Photo: Lemon, ginger & cranberry granola

Yep, I’m one of those people. One of those who still, even at 22 years of age, puts milk, cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeers on Christmas Eve. From December 1st I blast Michael Buble’s 2011 Christmas album in my car, and refuse to take it off rotation until mid-January. Shopping centres go from being in my top-3-most-disliked-environments all year from January through November, to magical joy-filled havens which I find every excuse to immerse myself in during December. I take dramatic detours and scour the streets of suburban Melbourne late at night, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at fairy light displays. Even houses with the tackiest efforts (flashing rainbow fairy lights usually make my eyes hurt) send ripples of Christmas cheer through me. I’ve finally stopped dressing my car as Rudolf and acknowledge that the antlers on the side door windows and red nose on the front grill are a bit much.

As I write this, the most wonderful day of the year is just one week away. The early summer sun is shining outside, I’ve spent the afternoon wrapping presents and arranging them under the tree, and the oven is exhaling mouth-watering notes of ginger, cinnamon and maple from my fourth batch of Lemon, Ginger and Cranberry Granola this week.

Photo: Lemon, ginger & cranberry granola

This granola recipe is a festive and comforting marriage of sugar and spice. It’s sweetened with just enough maple syrup and the pops of tart lemon and dried cranberries add some extra zing. There’s a delicious crunch and chewiness to it, then it melts in your mouth like any granola should. It might look Christmassy, but it makes for a delicious and nutrient dense breakfast all year round. This recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to mix it up however you like. So long as you’re mindful of wet to dry ratios, you can pretty much throw in whatever you’ve got on hand.

How you use the granola is entirely up to you – serve a generous handful with your favourite nut milk and strawbs for a wholesome brekky, sprinkle it over smoothie bowls and banana ‘nice cream’ to add some crunch, or whiz some through smoothies to make them extra thicccc and amp up the flavour. It’s also great to snack on as a trail mix, but I try to portion it out in advance otherwise I end up eating half a batch in one sitting. Portion control has never been my forté.

For something a bit spesh, try layering the granola with cardamom-stewed oranges or other fruit and your favourite yoghurt (coconut or full fat) in individual glasses  – the perfect Christmas Parfait for brunch entertaining! I also love making cute homemade edible gifts by filling mason jars with the granola. Add some mini gingerbread men to the jars and arrange around the side of the jar so that they’re visible, then finish with some festive ribbon and hand-written gift tags.

Photo: Lemon, ginger & cranberry granola

Lemon, Ginger and Cranberry Granola

FODMAP friendly serving size: ¾ cup (approx. 80g)

Ingredients

Muesli mixture:

  • 2 cups(178g) quinoa flakes (you could also use flaked brown rice or buckwheat)
  • 1 cup (200g) buckwheat grouts, activated if possible
  • 1 cup (15g) puffed buckwheat (puffed brown rice also works great although it’s a grain)
  • ¾ cup (45g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup (97g) of your favourite natural nuts (activated if possible), roughly chopped. I use mostly macadamias and pecans, plus some almonds and walnuts
  • ¼ cup (40g) pepitas
  • ¼ cup (40g) sunflower seeds
  • ¾ tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • ½ cup (60g) dried cranberries (unsweetened if possible, omit for strictly fructose friendly – see notes)

Wet mixture:

  • ½ cup (100g) melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup (95g) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160*C and lightly grease a large baking tray with coconut oil
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ‘muesli mixture’ ingredients, except the dried coconut and cranberries
  3. Add the ‘wet’ ingredients to the bowl, gently folding with a large wooden spoon until fully combined
  4. Spoon onto the prepared tray in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Add the dried coconut and use a spatula to gently turn the granola. Lightly press the mixture down to encourage the formation of clusters. Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. At this point it should be fragrant and golden
  5. Remove from the oven and set aside. As it cools, the granola will continue to dry out and crisp up, so don’t worry if it’s still a little soft. Allow to cool completely before adding the dried cranberries and transferring to an airtight container or glass jars. The granola will keep for at least a week if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Info for the Irritable:

  • Certain nuts and dried coconut contain moderate amounts of FODMAPs (GOS and polyols, respectively), however the amount I have used in this recipe, especially once divided into the recommended servings, is considered to be low. If you’re especially sensitive to either, reduce the amount by half or omit altogether and substitute with more quinoa flakes and puffed buckwheat
  • Dried cranberries do contain moderate fructans, however the amount I have included once divided is considered low.
  • To keep the FODMAP load of your meal down, make sure you serve this granola with low FODMAP accompaniments, such as fresh berries and a suitable nut milk.

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Photo: Lemon, ginger & cranberry granola

5 thoughts on “Gluten Free Lemon, Ginger and Cranberry Granola | Grain Free, Low FODMAP

  1. Thanks so much! I’m doing central and south america (leaving in just under two months – eek!) so I know the food will be just unreal. I didn’t really think about the fact that I will be so much more active than I would normally be here! Thanks again and you have definitely helped calm my fitness-related woes xx

  2. Hey Jess! I definitely did lose some fitness and put a bit of weight on in Europe because unfortunately I’m not naturally thin and have absolutely no natural muscle definition, but here’s some of the best advice I can give:
    Firstly, you’re going on a trip of a lifetime and you are supposed to ENJOY everything it entails, so make as many good health choices as you can, but never be too hard on yourself on the exercise front, and don’t be TOO strict or conscious about the food. You’re going to have to accept the fact that you’re not going to come home as taut and toned as you are now, but you’ll come back a more fulfilled and enriched person which is worth so much more! That said, as much as I didn’t deprive myself of anything whilst overseas, I certainly didn’t go overboard either, because I’m not one of those lucky people born with a fast metabolism or natural muscle definition. I was also very injured at the time of my trip, so I couldn’t do any deliberate exercise over the 3 months (which sucked, because there are so many great ways to exercise and maintain fitness which don’t involve a gym when you’re abroad – hikes, long walking tours, bike rides, swimming etc). So I just tried to dance, swim and walk as much as I could haha! Besides, I was enjoying myself too much to even consider what it would be like to be in a gym over there. It’s easy to switch your inner fitness fanatic off when no one around you is going to the gym and, no, please don’t get your yoga mat out in the dorm because I was victim to a guy who would do his workout circuits next to my bed in Barcelona, and let’s just say that he didn’t have any buddies to explore or party with haha! Do your yoga in parks and on beaches – perfect!

    In terms of food, here’s my best advice: it really depends on where you’re going so it’s hard for me to say, but just like home, it’s always more expensive to eat healthily than it is to eat conveniently. I would always fork out more money to buy fresh salads and quality protein over fast food. I was super tight on money the whole trip, so I’d always take advantage of fresh markets as well. Also, I never went ANYWHERE without trail mix, a jar of PB, rice cakes, bananas and tins of tuna in my bag. That way, if it was just a normal travelling day and I felt really stuck for healthy choices or couldn’t find anything to accommodate my many food intolerances, I always had a back up on me. Even my most health-conscious girlfriends would sometimes opt for fast food if they were starving and couldn’t find anything healthy to eat. Having back up snacks means that you’ll never HAVE to choose unhealthy food. Of course, it’s so important to indulge and embrace local delicacies and dishes, no matter how rich or ‘unhealthy’ they are. It’s all part of traveling. Just try to maintain balance. For example, there was no way I was going to go to Paris and not have a creme brulee or ice cream, or go to Spain and turn down tapas, churros and paella. But on the days I knew I’d be eating such treats, I’d make sure my other meals were a little lighter. EMBRACE every aspect of your travel, but just don’t go overboard with food every moment of every day. Yes, I ate sweets and fries at times, but I wouldn’t have it several days a week like other people would, simply because my body doesn’t handle such foods well and can’t eat like that without packing on weight.

    I really hope this (essay) helps! SAFE AND HAPPY TRAVELS!
    Ashlyn xxx

  3. Hi there. I was just wondering if you could give me tips on how to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle when travelling overseas? I saw that you went to Europe for 4 months and you looked just as great when you got back. I’ll be heading abroad for about 5-6 months and will be roughing it (backpacking – no gyms, and I don’t know how comfortable i’d be doing my yoga exercises in front of 15 other people in a dorm haha). I’m healthy and fit now, I just don’t know how to maintain it. Any tips/advice would be appreciated! 🙂

  4. I really like the brunch parfait idea!! I also love giving food gifts – spiced roasted nuts or cookies, last year I made apple butter! Everyone loves food gifts 🙂

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