I LOVE granola and it is one of the things I missed eating when my oldest child was diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies. (Most granolas either contain nuts or are made in a facility that uses nuts.) However, while I missed it, I must say it wasn’t something I ate all that often before because it can also be not-so-healthy. Lots of added sugar, lots of calories.

So, I was on a mission to find a healthy, nut-free granola recipe that wasn’t so fattening!

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When I first got into baking I came across some recipes for granola bars. At first I was intimidated by them, but I gave a few recipes a try. Some of them were absolutely delicious!!! One was so good I had to stop making it…I couldn’t resist eating them and once ate half a pan before anyone else got near them! They also tasted so deliciously nutty it kinda scared me, but was completely nut-free of course.

When I got into “clean eating” and found the 100 Days of Real Food blog, I became more determined to find a granola recipe that we could eat, that tasted good, and that wasn’t a complete sugar-bomb. Turns out, it was right there in the blog. With a few tweaks, I have found my go-to granola recipe. It can be cut into bars (they are a bit crumbly, but do stay together for the most part) or broken into nice big granola chunks, or broken up further to make the kind of granola you’d eat as a cereal or sprinkle into yogurt.

I also love that, so far as I can tell, this granola is 21 Day Fix-friendly, in moderation. When I made my batch today, I used half the honey to make it even more fix-friendly- half the sugar content. It came out great, though it is more crumbly and didn’t hold together as well for granola bars. I don’t mind that since what I use it for is my yogurt in the morning- plain greek yogurt, blueberries, cinnamon and granola. It adds just the right amount of sweetness (I don’t add any other sweetener), and I love the crunch it adds, too!

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Homemade Nut-free Granola

(adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation:

Combine oats, seeds, coconut (make sure you use unsweetened), and spices in large bowl.     Melt coconut oil over low heat and as it’s starting to melt add honey.  When oil has completely melted, add vanilla and salt; stir.  Pour saucepan mixture over the oat mixture and toss until it’s all coated.  Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and press down until it’s about even.  Bake in 250 degree oven for about 75 minutes.  Let cool.  If you want to cut into bars I’ve found it’s best to cut it before it is completely cooled.

*If you don’t mind crumbly granola, and are looking to cut back on sweeteners, try using 1/4 cup honey instead.

Some notes on ingredients:

  • I was warned about sunflower seeds when we first got a peanut allergy diagnosis.  I avoided them until I found ones at Trader Joe’s that we can have.  I emailed the company and they are processed in a  facility separate from nuts.  I was so happy to hear this!  But, of course, if you have allergy concerns be careful about seeds!
  • Make sure the coconut flakes or shredded coconut you use aren’t the sweetened kind.  I found a brand at my local supermarket that’s great- nothing but shredded, dehydrated coconut.
  • I love using coconut oil in this recipe. The original recipe called for butter, but I love being able to get some healthy coconut oil into another recipe.  It comes out just as good!
  • There are so many benefits to consuming honey!  It makes me feel much better about the sugar it brings…nature’s sweetener.  Try to use local honey when you can for the most health benefits!

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This granola is very tasty, not too sweet. They are of the crunchy, not chewy variety. The ironic part of the whole nut-free search is that my kids don’t even eat them! But I’m happy I found them for my sake.  And my 2-year-old will have a nibble on occasion. It can make a great breakfast, snack, or treat!

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