Cheez-It Granola (Vegan, Gluten Free & Oil Free)

 
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This Cheez-It granola is cheesy, crispy and perfectly salty. A healthy and nutritious alternative to boxed Cheeze-Its! Just 7 plant based ingredients needed for this easy savory granola that can be used as a topping or to snack on its own.

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I’ve always been a crunchy, crispy and savory snacker. I grew up eating all sorts of (unhealthy) savory snacks! My favourites were anything artificially cheesy… which is strange because I never really liked actual cheese. Even after becoming vegan, I never got into fake vegan cheese BUT I do love the flavour of nutritional yeast!

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Granola is also one of my go-to snacks because I can easily make it at home and make it healthy. Granola is often associated with sweet flavours, but today I’ll be sharing with you the best savory granola recipe! It’s easy, healthy, gluten free, completely vegan and requires only 7 ingredients:

  1. Gluten free rolled oats (or not gluten free, up to you!) as a base

  2. a mix of your favourite nuts and/or seeds: I love using sun flower seeds and almonds in this recipe

  3. Aquafaba (chickpea water): to bind and make it crunchy

  4. Maple syrup: for a subtle sweetness

  5. Nutritional yeast: for cheesy-ness!

  6. Garlic powder: for a bit of flavour

  7. Roasted chickpeas: for extra protein and crunch! I love just plain unsalted or salted ones. I also LOVE using these broad bean snacks!

And if you like it a bit spicy, a pinch of cayenne!

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Like any granola recipe, you just mix up all the ingredients and then bake it for around half an hour until perfectly toasty.

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This is actually one of my very first granola recipe using aquafaba as a replacement for oil and egg whites. I typically use nut or seed butter but I am loving the results of the aquafaba variation! It comes out crispy and crunchy, just how granola should be. It’s perfect for those who have a nut or seed allergy, want to make a lower fat granola or just have a ton of chickpea water on hand.

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There are so many ways to eat this savory cheesy granola. Use it as a topping for toast, soups, pasta, salads and more! Or of course, eat it by its self as a snack. It’s way healthier than store bough cheese flavoured snacks AND you get to control what ingredients go into it!

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I hope you give this Cheez-It Granola recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I do because it’s:

  • cheesy

  • crunchy

  • salty

  • high in protein

  • the perfect healthy snack

  • an easy savory granola

  • and so damn tasty (seriously… it’s addicting)

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Tips and Tricks to making Cheez-It Granola

  • If you enjoy a much more clustery granola, you can whip the aquafaba until foamy, this will help bind the ingredients together. However, if you’re lazy (like me) this is not a necessary step. The aquafaba will also act as oil to give this granola a nice crunchy texture.

  • Use jumbo rolled oats if possible. It creates a much more desirable texture. You can use either gluten free or regular jumbo rolled oats.

  • Be sure to spread the granola evenly across the tray. Unlike oil free granola’s that use nut butter, aquafaba is more “wet” so it needs to be baked off more (increasing baking surface area).

  • When coming out of the oven, the granola may look and/or feel slightly under baked but if it looks toasty, do not continue to bake. The granola will crisp up as it cools.

  • The roasted chickpeas is optional, but it adds more texture, protein and saltines! You can add different flavours of chickpea snacks or even these broad bean snacks (which are like, my FAVOURITE snacks ever. The sea salt and garlic herb is delicious in this).

  • If you love the idea os savory granola, you may also like this chili lime granola! If you’re more into sweet granola, I have a ton here on my blog. I highly recommend my french toast granola and chocolate espresso granola. If you’re in a pinch or super lazy, I also have a granola recipe you can make in the microwave in just 5 minutes.

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If you recreate this Cheez-It Granola recipe please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @lisakitahara, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Cheez-It Granola

This Cheez-It granola is cheesy, crispy and perfectly salty. A healthy and nutritious alternative to boxed Cheeze-Its! Just 7 plant based ingredients needed for this easy savory granola that can be used as a topping or to snack on its own.

Makes: 2 Cups

Name of image (title of post is fine)

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (60g)
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (20-40g)*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 + 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats (100g)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (35g)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (28)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (32g)
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup roasted chickpeas (40-60g)**

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C)
  2. In to a large bowl add in the aquafaba, maple syrup, garlic powder and pinch of cayenne if using. Mix until combined. Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
  3. Transfer to a lined baking tray and place into the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray and place in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes. Check on it at 15 minutes, it should look lightly toasty. If needed, give it another 2-5 minutes in the oven.
  4. Allow it to cool completely. Mix in the roasted chickpeas. Eat immediately or store in a air tight container for up to 1 week.

NOTES:

  • *If you enjoy a less sweeter flavour, reduce to 1 tbsp of maple syrup.

  • **I recommend using chickpeas that have already been roasted. Using canned chickpeas requires a higher baking temperature and more time so it will not evenly crisp up. I like to use these chickpea snacks, or make some roasted chickpeas ahead of time to add in.

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