Cruising the health food store a few months back, I happened upon a bag of locally made, grain-free granola that really spoke to me. Something about its un-designed packaging, its minimalistic ingredients and flagrant chunks flirting with me through the cellophane window, begged me to take it home. The $ 15 price tag begged me to leave it on the shelf. So I went and perused the tea section, while spiritually distracted by the promise of crunchy sunflower seed clusters and juicy raisins. I went back. I picked up the bag and walked swiftly to the cash register so that I wouldn’t change my mind on the way there. I bought it, ran home, tore open that bag and sat gorging myself on handful after handful of total luxury granola bliss. I did again the next week. And the following week too. It took about five rounds of $ 15 granola before I realized, firstly, how insane it was that I, Sarah Britton, would spend such a preposterous amount of money on something like breakfast cereal, and second, that I wouldn’t just figure out how to make it myself.
Grain-free granola is nothing new, but nothing I’d ever tried making before since I love grains so very much. But as I tend to enjoy grain-centric breakfasts, pouring a bunch of mostly-oat granola on top of mostly-oat porridge seemed like oat overkill, ya know? It didn’t take long to perfect this recipe and secure its place as a rotating staple in my household. I eat it on all kinds of things besides porridge too. It’s great on top of chia pudding, smoothie bowls, chopped fruit, coconut yogurt, waffles and pancakes, and ice cream (the healthy kind, of course). And like all other granolas, this stuff is pretty addictive. I’m warning you.
This recipe is excitingly versatile, so don’t get too caught up on the ingredients themselves – instead think of them as inspiration. If you’re allergic to nuts, or you simply want to cut down on the cost of this recipe, simply swap out the nuts for more seeds. You can also replace the coconut if you’re so inclined, use another spice instead of cinnamon, honey instead of maple syrup…you get the idea. Just make sure that whatever you choose to alter is substituted with the same amount of something else. If you dig dried fruit, chop up a bunch and add it to the mix after it’s cooled down. Apricots, figs, mulberries, and raisins are some of my favourites with this mix.
Maple Cinnamon Grain-free Granola
Makes 8 cups / 2 liters
2 cups / 275g raw nuts (I used almonds and hazelnuts)
2 cups / 250g raw, shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup / 80g unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup / 60g large flaked coconut
3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. fine sea salt
1/3 cup / 80ml expeller-pressed coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup / 80ml maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 300°F / 150°C. Line two rimmed baking sheets with baking paper.
2. Add the nuts to your food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Add sunflower seeds and pulse to chop, until all nuts and seeds are about the same size. If you don’t have a food processor, this step can be done by hand.
3. Place chopped nuts and seeds in a large mixing bowl. Combine the coconut, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt. Pour in the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix well to coat. Divide the mixture in half and spread out evenly onto the lined baking sheets (you can do this on one baking sheet if that is all you have, but in my experience it cooks more evenly with two).
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring a couple times from the 15-minute mark. The granola is ready when it is golden and fragrant. It will crisp up outside the oven as it cools.
5. Store fully-cooled granola in an airtight glass container at room temperature for up to one month.
This recipe was included in my online video series, Healthy Kickstart, that I produced with my friends over at Cody! If you’d like to see me making this recipe in the flesh, and the many other breakfast delights (such as the Grab-and-Go Carrot Bread below), click here. I had such a blast with this series, as I feel passionate about helping you to create mornings that are as delicious, vibrant and easy as possible! I hope you all enjoy.
Deep gratitude for all of your ongoing support of My New Roots!
Show me your Maple Cinnamon Grain-free Granola on Instagram: #MNRgrainfreegranola
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