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Maple Quinoa Granola (low-FODMAP, vegan)

Granola just might be my favorite food. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. That and egg salad. Hm.

Even when I was calorie paranoid, I would get myself granola for a breakfast treat now and again. And then it became a regular staple when I was trying to gain weight. High calorie density food FTW!

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And let me tell you a secret: while granola with yogurt is good, granola with milk is so much better. Or…

Granola hack: Honey-flavored Greek yogurt, topped with granola, topped with a little milk. The Greek yogurt is rich and creamy, but then the milk soaks up the granola a little bit and all the granola sweetness so it’s chewy and crunchy and creamy and….

I never said I wouldn’t resort to food porn on this site. Just sayin’.

There are a few reasons why traditional granola doesn’t work so wonderfully on the low-FODMAP diet.

  1. The base is usually oats, and the FODMAP limit for oats is 1/4 cup. (Sometimes, of course, the recommended serving size is only 1/4 cup of granola, but…seriously? Even as a topping on yogurt, I usually eat at least about 1/2 a cup.)
  2. Most dried fruits are low-FODMAP. (although according to Kate Scarlata, a little bit of dried cranberries or raisins should be okay)
  3. A lot of granolas contain high-fructose sweeteners like honey or agave.

I’ve made this granola many times and gradually modified it to make it more flavorful and more FODMAP-friendly. First, I replaced half the oats with quinoa flakes. That way, even a 1/2 cup portion is well within the FODMAP limit for oats. The Ancient Harvest brand of quinoa flakes is pretty expensive, and I’ve only ever been able to find it at Whole Foods, but on the other hand, one box has lasted me over six months, so I figure it’s worth it for once in a while.

I also include flax seed meal and oat bran for the healthy fats and soluble fiber, both great for folks with digestive concerns.

DSCN0216 (2)I also went for slivered almonds. Almonds are a moderate-FODMAP nut, and the serving size I’ve recommended here should be fine for most folks with IBS, but if almonds bother you, I’m sure you could sub in another kind of nut or seed.

DSCN0219 (3)I used maple syrup as a sweetener, which is low-fructose and adds a lot of great flavor. Get Grade A dark or even Grade B, if you can. So much more maple-y goodness than the Grade A light amber silliness.

And finally, I used fresh fruit instead of dried. In the summer, I often top this granola with fresh blueberries or raspberries. Oranges or kiwis would also be lovely. But since it’s winter and one of my very favorite under-appreciated fruits is still in season and marked down to a good price after the holidays, I decided to go for the humble cranberry.

Fresh cranberries are tart, of course! I sprinkled them in sugar, which takes the edge off a bit, but they’re still quite bite-y. Just warning you–if you want a sweet fruit  with your granola, go for something else.

But they also have a lovely crunchy texture and…well…they’re lovely.

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Maple Quinoa Granola
Serves 7
My favorite low-FODMAP granola, made with a combination of quinoa flakes and rolled oats with maple syrup for a rich flavor. Top with sugared cranberries or low-FODMAP fruit of choice.
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  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 1 cup quinoa flakes
  3. 2 Tbsp. flax meal (ground flax seed)
  4. 2 Tbsp. oat bran
  5. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  7. a pinch of salt (1/8 tsp. or so)
  8. 6 Tbsp. maple syrup (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
  9. 2 Tbsp. canola oil
For the sugared cranberries (optional)
  1. 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  2. 1 Tbsp. cane sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the cranberries and sugar in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly
  3. Spread the granola mixture on a large baking pan. Bake about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and toasty.
For the sugared cranberries
  1. Rinse the cranberries in a strainer and chop roughly.
  2. Mix the chopped cranberries with the sugar and let set in the fridge overnight.
To serve
  1. Sprinkle 1/2 cup granola over yogurt (lactose-free if you have lactose intolerance or are in the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet.) Top with sugared cranberries. (Make more sugared cranberries as needed.)
  1. As delicious as this granola is, keep to about a 1/2 cup serving during the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet.
The Hungry Caterpillar
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  1. It’s interesting to hear about how you’re modifying your favourite foods to fit a low-FODMAP diet. This definitely looks like a winner. We rarely get fresh cranberries – not even during their season – but I can imagine them adding that something-something to breakfast.

    1. Joyce says:

      No fresh cranberries? I’m not sure I could do that. I can also find them frozen pretty much year-round.

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