Grain-free Granola

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DSC06725I really like granola. I stopped eating boxed cereal a while ago, and for a while continued to buy granola since I really like the crunchy sweetness every once in a while. Granola seemed like a better alternative to the overly processed (and overpriced) cereals out there; plus, H loves it, and requests it regularly for breakfast. As I’ve learned more about nutrition, though, I’ve become disenchanted with the quality of granola in the grocery stores. Lots of grains, lots of sweeteners, lots of junk. So I started tinkering with my own granola recipe, trying to find something that both my daughter and I like that I feel good eating and feel good about serving to her. I found a super tasty recipe here, but it was ultimately too sweet. I even halved the sweeteners the first time I made it and it was like a dessert. I ate way too much of it that week…

And then I decided to try it without any sweeteners. It was okay, but H wouldn’t eat it. I’ve played with the amounts of vanilla and cinnamon, combinations of honey and/or maple syrup, and different varieties of nuts and seeds, and this is the best version I’ve come up with so far. It is just sweet enough for H and not too sweet for me, plus it is crunchy and satisfying for breakfast (with some whole-milk yogurt or whatever kind of milk you prefer) or as a snack (or dessert) later in the day. It is also very easy to make and much cheaper than anything you can find in the grocery store. I hope you enjoy it!

Grain-free Granola

  • 2-3 cups of mixed nuts/seeds* (I used about 3/4 cup walnut pieces, 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas, and 1 cup sliced almonds…because that’s what I had in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit** (optional–I don’t like dried fruit in my granola, but H does)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

*Other nuts/seeds you might want to use: pecans, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.

**Dried fruit that would work well in your granola: raisins, cranberries, chopped cherries, currants, chopped apricots

To Cook:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
  2. Put the nuts/seeds and coconut flakes in a food processor and pulse until they are chopped to your desired consistency. I like mine pretty well-chopped. Or you can chop them by hand.DSC06708
  3. Put the mixed nuts/coconut in a mixing bowl. Add any dried fruit you plan to use.
  4. Mix in the cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt.
  5. Melt the coconut oil and stir it into the nuts. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix well to make sure all the liquid ingredients are evenly incorporated.DSC06711
  6. Spread the granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet until it is about 1/4 inch thick.DSC06715
  7. Cook in a 300F oven for 15 minutes, then shut off the oven and leave it inside for 8-12 hours or overnight so that it becomes completely cool and dry and crumbles easily.
  8. Break the granola into chunks or crumble into small pieces.DSC06725
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. Enjoy!

This post is linked to Tasty Traditions.

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