Since we don’t eat a lot of grains, I’ve had to get pretty creative to find alternatives to eggs for breakfast. We’ve done cottage cheese crepes and chia seed pudding. This coconut granola recipe was created in an attempt to find something new. If you’ve been looking for a healthy “cereal,” this is a good option.
Granola Without Grains?
Granola and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. I hated it when I was younger and it was just some weird health food my mom liked. Then I liked it in college when I thought it was a health food. Once I realized that grains and my stomach didn’t get along so well, granola was on the bad list again.
As a result, we haven’t had granola or any other type of breakfast cereal in the house in years. This recipe was created at the request of my kids to eat something besides eggs for breakfast. (Fun fact: I was originally trying to make granola bars, but the first few tries flopped. The crumbly result was perfect as cereal.)
I wanted it to be nutrient dense, grain free, and relatively easy to make. So I started experimenting.
The Solution: Coconut Granola!
After giving it some thought, I decided to use unsweetened coconut flakes as the base for my granola. Coconut flakes are wider and flatter than shredded coconut. Kind of like the difference between fettuccine and angel hair pasta. It’s usually pretty easy to find coconut flakes in health food stores or co-ops. Try the bulk section for a great price.
I toss the coconut flakes together with some nuts and dried fruit and drizzle a mixture of honey, coconut oil, and vanilla over it, and bake it until crispy.
Keep a close eye on it though. It’ll go from golden brown to burned in seconds. And keep in mind that it’ll get crunchier as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems a little soft when it’s still in the oven.
This isn’t an everyday food, but I don’t mind my kids eating it with raw milk or homemade coconut milk, or even homemade yogurt a few times a week.
Customizing Your Granola
The beauty of granola is that it’s so easy to customize it to precisely suit your mood and available ingredients.
Sometimes I like to add nuts, sometimes dried fruit, and sometimes it just feels like we all need a little chocolate (just don’t add the chocolate until the granola is cooled!).
During the summer months when fresh berries are in season, I leave out the dried fruit and toss in a handful of raspberries or blueberries before eating. Or serve it with sliced mango. Mmm. So many possibilities. This post has some interesting ideas.
Coconut Granola Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup or honey.
- Heat until it is starting to bubble and simmer.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- In a large bowl, mix together the coconut chips, nuts, cinnamon, and dried fruit and chia seeds.
- Pour the honey/maple syrup/coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. The consistency will vary some depending on the honey, coconut chips, and coconut oil you use. If there is not enough of the honey mixture to lightly coat all of the ingredients, add slightly more melted coconut oil and honey in equal parts.
- Spread on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 until starting to brown. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
- Remove and let cool, then crumble in to granola pieces.
- Store in an air-tight jar and use within two weeks.
Granola: Love it or hate it? Weigh in below!