With as many beans as I eat, it’s about time I started using putting the aquafaba to good use. I’ve been playing around with aquafaba for the past couple of months and I think this Super Crunchy Oil Free Granola is my favorite use so far! The starchy bean water binds the granola into crunchy clumps, without the use of excessive oils and sugars, like traditional granola. And no, the end product doesn’t smell or taste like beans. 😅
Never heard of aquafaba? Scroll down for a little crash course…
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the slightly goopy water that usually gets discarded from a can of beans. The soluble starches from the cooked beans give this strange liquid surprising properties that allow it to be whipped like egg whites and act as a binder in food. Absolute liquid gold for people looking for a vegan substitution for eggs! While it can’t be used as a sub for eggs in every recipe, it works for quite a few.
I suggest using the liquid from canned chickpeas over any other bean. Chickpea aquafaba is the most neutral, or has the least amount of color and flavor. Definitely stay away from black bean or kidney bean aquafaba, as they’ll be dark in color. I have used aquafaba from cannellini beans before, but chickpea aquafaba definitely has less flavor.
What is Cream of Tartar?
Cream of tartar, or tartaric acid, is an acid in powder form, and is a good ingredient to keep stashed in the back of your pantry. It has a few unique uses in the kitchen, including being the secret ingredient that turns baking soda into baking powder. In this granola recipe, cream of tartar is used to stabilize the aquafaba and make it easier to whip into a dense foam. Without a pinch of cream of tartar it can take up to ten minutes to properly whip aquafaba. With cream of tartar it takes only about three minutes.
Super Crunchy Oil-Free Granola Substitutes and Options
This recipe is super flexible and can be a great way to use up leftover dry goods in your pantry. The spice mix and the grains, nuts, and seeds, can all be swapped out to match your preferences.
When substituting the grains, nuts, and seeds in this recipe, just try to have about 3 cups total dry goods, in a ratio of about 2 cups grains to 1 cup nuts and seeds. Other nuts and seeds that you can use are: chia, sunflower, sesame, pecans, walnuts, or hemp.
Sweeten it up!
I purposely made this Super Crunchy Oil Free Granola very low in sugar. You can increase the sugar amount to fit your taste buds (the uncooked granola is safe to taste). You can also substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar in this recipe, although it does make the mixture a bit more wet, resulting in a slightly longer baking time.
This black and white splatter baking sheet is from Roveandswig.com.
Super Crunchy Oil Free Granola
- 1/2 cup aquafaba ($0.25)
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar ($0.01)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.16)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract ($0.14)
- 2 cups rolled oats ($0.33)
- 1/4 cup oat bran ($0.18)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed ($0.12)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds ($0.48)
- 1/4 cup pepitas ($.060)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger ($0.03)
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves ($0.02)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a bowl and use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the aquafaba into stiff peaks. Once the aquafaba is whipped, add the vanilla extract and brown sugar, then whip for another 30 seconds, or until the brown sugar is dissolved into the foam.
- In a separate bowl, combine the rolled oats, oat bran, ground flaxseed, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, turmeric, ground ginger, and ground cloves. Stir until combined.
- Pour the oat mixture into the bowl with the whipped and sweetened aquafaba. Stir until the dry ingredients are completely coated in the aquafaba.
- Spread the granola mixture onto the lined baking sheet so that it is in a single layer and not piled too deep.
- Bake the granola for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and give it a gentle stir. Bake for 10 minutes more, and stir a second time. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the granola is dry and the edges are deep golden brown.
- Allow the granola to cool and then store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Love homemade granola? Check out my No Sugar Added Banana Nut Granola!
How to Make Oil-Free Granola – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Pour the liquid from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba) into a measuring cup. You’ll need 1/2 cup of aquafaba. One 15oz. can of chickpeas usually has about 3/4 cup, so you should have plenty from one can.
Adding a little cream of tartar (tartaric acid) helps make it a LOT easier to whip the aquafaba into a foam. Without the cream of tartar it can take a good ten minutes to whip the aquafaba, with cream of tartar it only takes about 3 minutes. So it’s worth it! Add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar to your aquafaba.
Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to begin whipping the aquafaba. I wouldn’t suggest trying to do this one by hand. The aquafaba will look foamy at first, but if you keep going…
Eventually it will whip into a creamy foam. It’s done when the beaters begin to leave a trail in the foam, like in the photo above.
Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the whipped aquafaba.
Whip for another 30 seconds or just until the brown sugar is dissolved into the foam.
In a separate bowl, combine your grains, nuts, seeds, and spices. I used 2 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup oat bran, 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup pepitas, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves. Stir these together well.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of whipped aquafaba and stir them together.
Stir until everything is saturated and slightly clumpy.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment, then spread the granola mixture over the surface into a single even layer. BTW, this is a Crow Canyon Enamelware Rectangular Tray from Roveandswig.com.
Bake the granola in the preheated 350ºF oven for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir. Bake for 10 more minutes and stir again. Then bake for a final 5 minutes, or until the granola is dry and it is deeply golden brown on the edges. Ovens can vary, so keep a close eye on it for those final 10 minutes or so.
Let the granola cool completely, then store it in an air-tight container at room temperature.