Gluten Free Granola: Make It Or Buy It?

Gluten Free Granola: Make It Or Buy It?

Gluten free granola is a must in my house. For me. I don’t have great granola-sharing habits, though. I tend to hoard it. And then the kids as “will you share your granola?” And so I give them a few clusters. But it’s expensive, even to make. You know what that means! Time for another in our Make It Or Buy It blog series. Should you make your own homemade gluten free granola … or should you buy?[pinit]Granola spilling out of jar onto wooden surface

I used one of my favorite recipes for Gluten Free Granola (maple almond, to be exact), but there’s also another favorite, dead simple recipe of mine on page 72 of my First Cookbook. The maple almond granola uses things like almond oil and, well, almonds, coconut chips and pure maple syrup, so it’s really not cheap, you know? Figuring out what both the homemade and store-bought versions cost, and how they compared, was a real nail biter!

Granola in a jar

The homemade make-it version of my gluten free granola is, clearly (since I hoard it), a true gem (according to me, specifically). So it was going to be hard to beat, you know? And I haven’t much cared for the packaged gluten free granola brands that I’ve tried so far. They were o-kay, but far from equal to what I know I can make at home, and with relative ease. I had to level the playing field. So I tried a new type of store-bought granola. Ready?

Granola next to Kind bar package

I tried KIND Healthy Grains Oats & Honey Clusters gluten free granola. And, seriously?

Overhead view of granola in jar
It was …. amazing! And even though homemade granola still is pretty expensive, KIND packaged granola costs nearly 3 times as much. But it’s pretty easy to find, and they sell it on amazon.com for a really nice price (and if you have Amazon Prime, it’s currently available with free shipping). It’s so good, in fact, that I’m thinking about trying to recreate it with a homemade version just because it’s got a ton of fabulous gluten free grains in it (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, oats) and it’s nutty and not too sweet not to mention that it has a ton of clusters, which I personally love. Try it with (my new favorite thing) strained plain whole milk yogurt. Heaven! Here are the details (oh, and you know I love my homemade version, so no real need to talk about that again):

Chart comparing prices and quality of granola

So … I’m short on Make It Or Buy It suggestions at the moment. Any other packaged gluten free products you’d like me to try and compare to the homemade version? Let me know in the comments!



P.S. Looking for some weekend reading? Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy is just the thing – and you’ll support the blog that loves to support you. Thank you!!

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  • Debbie McCrigler
    May 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Hope you do the recipe soon

  • Michelle
    April 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    I can see that the jars in the Kind pictures are Weck, but what are the jars in the pictures of your yummy maple-almond granola? It seems like I have seen something like those that had lids, but I can’t remember where. They look the perfect size for me to send yogurt/ granola with my husband.

  • BeeJay
    April 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    We are waiting with baited breath for your knock off of KIND granola; haven’t tried it yet, but based on your evaluation, I’ll buy it and hope you develop your recipe soon:-) Thanks for all your great efforts.

  • elye
    April 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    how about pizza crust? make your own versus store-bought, frozen?

  • Laura Giacchi
    April 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    I’m fairly new to your blog, so you may have done this already , but how about graham crackers? I’ve made home made ones before that were hit and miss, but make delicious s’mores when they came out right.Thanks!
    P.s. my family lives in China right now, so simple ingredients work best for me:-)

  • April 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Nicole – thanks for the great postings on comparison items. And the gentle reminders of which book to look at for the recipe that we have in our cookbooks by you…I don’t have any suggestions, just a note to say thank you for all the your do for us, your readers. Happy Weekend.

  • Bettina
    April 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Can you try Udis? It is a really good granola, the best I’ve tried so far, but it is expensive. I’d love to be able to reproduce it at home.

  • Sarah Mahan
    April 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    When we buy granola, which isn’t often since I like to make huge batches of my own, we buy Enjoy Life Not Nuts Seed and Fruit Mix http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/seed-and-fruit-mixes/
    as a snack. It doesn’t have oats so its just to eat by the handful. It’s very expensive, so I started making my own granola that is safe for my son and I both: nut free for him and gluten free for me.

  • Mel
    April 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    These pictures are of the same granola. I buy Hammer and Tuffys at whole foods.

    • gfshoestring
      April 26, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Hi, Mel,
      I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say, “These pictures are of the same granola.” The first and second pictures are photos I took of my homemade maple almond granola. The third and fourth pictures are photos I took of KIND oats and honey clusters packaged granola.

      • mel
        April 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        the buy it and make it pictures are the same pictures.. one is just zoomed in?

        The other two pictures didn’t load the first time

        • gfshoestring
          April 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

          No. They’re not the same pictures. They are in similar glass containers that I placed them in for the purpose of the photos. But they are absolutely not the same pictures.

  • Donia Robinson
    April 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    I believe healthy, whole-grain food SHOULD be more expensive than non-whole-grain food. Not that there’s anything wrong with shoestring food ;) but sometimes you’ve just gotta get your granola on, you know? Not to incite any riots or anything.

    As for other products, how about Enjoy Life chewy cookies? I know you’ve got tons of awesome cookie recipes on the blog, but here’s the thing – Enjoy Life is free of the top 8 allergens. For us dairy-free-ers, sometimes we pine after your cookies that have butter in them, knowing that shortening won’t do job the same. Same for eggs, which my body tolerates intermittently. So I admit, sometimes I like to get my cookie on with some out of a box, either Enjoy Like or a Trader Joe’s version, and to be honest? They taste disgusting to me. I don’t know why I buy them! I know this is a GF blog, but I suspect many others come here with a laundry list of allergies and/or intolerances. Comes with the territory, I guess.
    Oh, and frozen waffles. Surely they can be made, IQF, and toasted like the boxed kind?

    • Ari
      April 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Donia, these are far from shoestring, but in a fit of desperation, have you tried Dr. Lucy’s cookies? They are vegan and kosher, gluten free and I believe peanut and tree nut free.And delicious. Not as good as Nicole’s homemade cookies I’m sure but quite tasty when you’re in a hurry and don’t have a recipe that fits your dietary needs to make at home.

  • Kim Donavan
    April 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Kind really is a good, tasty GF granola. When I’m short on time or I find a sale, it’s ok in my book. But I really prefer making my own. ( I like lotsa nuts!) I am intrigued by adding buckwheat, amaranth, etc…ohhhh…yeah!

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