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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
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup nuts (such as cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, or barukas)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup chia seeds (or raisins or other dried fruit of choice, optional)
- 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!
Discussion (75 Comments)
How large of a serving do you figure in this recipe…since you say it serves 4? I was looking up the nutritional content in order to figure out weight watchers points and I wondered if your servings were large since you use it as a cereal…my plan is to just sprinkle it on top of homemade yogurt. Just wanted to know..since I do not want to purchase the coconut chips to make it until I know how many points it will be. Thanks!
Hello, can you replace the maple syrup and the honey with molasses?
I can’t believe you called this healthy! It doesn’t conform to my standard of healthy at all. BOO THUMBS DOWN BOOO.
That was sarcasm. I know this is an older post, but some of the comments are so irritating that I had to say something. I would love it if people who don’t agree with/understand/approve of the way you eat would just keep their comments to themselves. It’s healthy because you designed the recipe to fit your opinion of what is healthy and that’s all that matters. If people don’t agree with what you think is healthy, they should move on and find a recipe that is a better fit for them.
And, I would also like to add that I don’t understand how people can look at the components of your recipe and say that it’s not healthy or has too much sugar. Besides the fact that the nutrition facts posted by RonBoyd are obviously incorrect, the only significant source of sugar comes from the maple syrup or honey and it’s 1 tbsp or less per serving! So, good sources of sugar and not an excessive amount. And the lack of protein is because it’s granola! HELLO. You’re supposed to either have it as a small snack or eat it with another source of protein. FYI haters, granola with more protein is commonly referred to as ‘a handful of nuts’.
Bottom line: I’d hate to see what these people have to say about a recipe for fruit salad.
I have to agree – “healthy” may not be the best description. Perhaps “yummy” is a better fit, but who (health conscious parents) gives their children 39 grams of sugar for breakfast or snack no matter where it comes from? That’s almost 10 teaspoons of sugar in one serving!! Whoa!! Perhaps you could get some great information from JJ Virgin. Even with using healthier ingredients you can overdo the sugar content and defeat the purpose of creating a healthy recipe.
Please explain to me how eating a snack with this amount of sugar is healthier than eating an organic, gluten free grain with no added sugar? I’ve read your comments about ALL grains being bad for you, and one of the main reasons is that they are converted into sugar by the body and will most likely cause diabetes and a host of other health problems.
Sugar is sugar and if you eat too much of it in any form, it can cause diabetes, and this includes eating your “healthy” granola (and your high sugar “healthy” gummy candies). I would love your thoughts on this because I see some discrepancies in what you preach.
Katie - Wellness Mama
The honey or maple syrup can be omitted, which will just change the texture slightly. I’ve never said I had a problem with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup on occasion, and eating too low carb can be just as problematic as eating too many carbs.
I cannot believe the audacity people have in these comments….good grief!!!!! If you don’t like something, don’t do it – this is Katie’s blog and she can post whatever the heck she feels like posting! Too much sugar too many carbs blah blah blah if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!
Absobloodylutely!! Soooo rude!! Kate (wellness mama) you are great! Your recipes are great! Your time, effort and thoughtfulness of others (our future) is even greater still!
Unfortunately…some people are so blind and ignorant to food and its content. Particular folk don’t understand the word healthy.
I suffer with a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrone (genetic disorder). My body doesn’t work with processed food, medicinals and anything toxic, so your recipes are my heaven.
For those of you that don’t agree and don’t like…DON’T READ! And DON’T JOIN THE BLOG! And furthermore, research ‘HEALTHY’…TBC
Hertfordshire United Kingdom
Hello! This looks delicious! I have 2 questions for u:
I am a blogger also (Greek blogger) and wanted to check if it’s OK to translate some of our recipies and have it on m blog when I also try the result.
Also, since maple syrup is quite expencive here, is it possible to only use honey on this recipe?
Thanx a lot,
Katie - Wellness Mama
I Lydia, thanks for your comment. I don’t allow my posts/recipes to be copied on to other sites. Thanks for asking though!
To answer your 2nd question, you probably don’t need the maple syrup! Many are saying it’s extremely sweet with both. 🙂
Just made this and LOVE it! I may try it next time with the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, then add a small amount of coconut sugar as it cools. Thank you!
We’ve been making this for some time now. It is our FAVORITE little car snack and topping for yogurt! We cut the sweetener by half and it’s still awesome. Sometimes we use half butter/half coconut oil. It’s so easy to change it up with the seasons and can easily be nut-free using all seeds. Thank you Wellness Mama for making our life a little easier with nutrient-dense recipes and treats like this. 😉
Is there any way i could turn this into a cold cereal with raw milk. I love cereal but most are made with grains and am starting to avoid them. I was thinking if you could do the coconut flakes from scratch, to use a mandolin and then cut them into appropriate size chunks, then use dried fruit and nuts. I was thinking like a grain free version of special k cereals.
Katie - Wellness Mama
This can absolutely be eaten as a cool cereal once cooled