Granola has been one of the favorite foods for snackers, breakfast lovers, and health fanatics for more than 100 years. Despite its existence for such a long-time, people still wonder whether or not granola is gluten-free. This question is very important because even though granola is full of nutrients, healthy fat, protein, carbohydrates, and muchmore, it is ultimately made of grains. Grains such as wheat and corn can cause discomfort for people who are sensitive or allergic to gluten. Read on to get the answer to your query and learnabout gluten-free vegan granola.
But before that, we need to know what the terms gluten-free and granola mean.
What does gluten-free mean?
Gluten is a family of proteins that are formally known as prolamins. These can be found in certain grains such as rye, wheat, barley and triticale (which is a hybrid of rye and wheat). Moreover, any other product that is made up of the above-mentioned grains contains gluten and can irritate your stomach if you are gluten intolerant. Grains such as quinoa, corn, buckwheat, flax seeds, rice, and oats do not contain gluten. Following a gluten-free diet is important for people who have celiac disease and suffer from other medical conditions that are associated with gluten.
What is granola?
Granola is often only seen as a collection of toppings. To truly understand granola and answer the question “Is it gluten-free?” you need to look beneath all the extras. Granola, at its most basic, is a mixture of oats and oil or butter along with a sweetener that binds it all together. These base ingredients can be customized in many ways. For igranola, you could add other grains to oats, such as flax, quinoa, and chia to increase the nutrition level of the superfood. Also, you can use ghee or coconut oil instead of butter or oil and for the sweetener, you can go for healthy options such as agave, maple syrup, or honey.
Is granola gluten-free?
Granola is gluten-free. As mentioned above, oats do not contain gluten, therefore granola that is made from oats is gluten-free by default. Whether or not granola is gluten-free depends upon the base ingredients that are used to make it. But in some cases, the producers tend to be ignorant and package their granola on the same machine that they used to process and package wheat, barley, and rye which are gluten-containing grains. This exercise makes the granola that was originally gluten-free come in contact with gluten and causes it to get contaminated. In order to prevent that, you need to buy your granola from a reliable brand. So, although most granola available in the market might not be gluten-free, some are. You just need to find out the right brand for yourself.
How to know if your granola is gluten-free?
To ensure that you buy the best gluten-free granola you have to look for the term gluten-free on the packaging. This also applies to the different ingredients that you use to make your own granola. Moreover, you also need to be mindful of the toppings that you add to your granola as they can contain gluten which will make your stomach upset.
A gluten-free diet can not only give you physical advantages but can also provide you with mental health benefits. Thus, having granola is a great start to your attempt at going gluten-free.