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When I started writing recipes and sharing my favorite foods, many of the topics seemed
Granola masquerades as a health food but is often a sugar-loaded treat. I love my pumpkin spice granola and peanut butter granola recipes, but they both have grain and sugars in different forms. As daily granola, I love this less sweet, cinnamon nut grain-free granola.
Nuts as the filler
For most people, grains are not bad. That said, some people can’t tolerate certain ones and oats can sometimes be empty calories. Taking all the grain options away, you’re pretty much left with nuts as the hearty filler.
Thankfully I love nuts. Yes, they’re high fat, but they’re not just any fat. Nuts are good fats, full of nutrients and omegas to help feed your heart and mind. Nuts also give a texture that is so appetizing.
Depending on any allergies you may have, you can switch up the nuts in this recipe as needed.
Ground flax meal
Many granolas have thickeners or fillers that use dry milk or egg whites. Both are delicious, but can also create allergenic restrictions for some people. This granola has neither because it’s only thickened with ground flax meal. It sounds odd but when mixed with the water and honey in this recipe, the flax meal becomes a thick paste. It works perfectly to help spices stick to the granola, creating those craggy chunks we all want to pick out.
- Unsweetened coconut is the backbone of this granola. The flavor and the inherent texture of coconut is a terrific base for all of the other ingredients. This takes the place of the traditional oats.
- Pumpkin seeds have healthy fats, fiber, and minerals. The seeds also have amazing flavor when toasted.
- Cashews, walnuts and pecans are the mixture of nuts I find perform the best in this granola. You can use other nuts if you have an allergy, or a specific preference.
- Chia seeds have the omega fats our bodies needs. The seeds are tiny but offer a good texture in the granola.
- Flax meal has a lot of nutrients and fiber. As mentioned above, the flax meal is ground from seeds and acts as a replacement to egg whites or dry milk used in other granola. When combined with the water and honey, the flax meal works to create a crunchy texture.
- Water is an important part of the recipe. The water allows the honey to be evenly mixed over the ingredients. Plus, it helps thicken the flax meal.
- Honey is the only sugar sweetener. Honey is made by bees and is a natural alternative to processed, refined sugars. Just enough honey is used in this granola to give some sweetness without being too much.
- Cinnamon is the classic flavor for a granola. I think it’s needed to really add a warmth to the other ingredients. I like to add the cinnamon before baking and then sprinkle on a little bit more at the end.
- Vanilla powder (or vanilla extract) is the flavor needed to finish the granola. I like to use vanilla powder when I have it as it adds a more intense flavor. But vanilla extract works just as well.
For this granola, I added both coconut and cinnamon to provide a touch of sweetness. It’s no surprise that cinnamon is a sweet spice. Since we’re all used to cinnamon being present in baked goods, we automatically think “sweet” when eating it.
To make this vegan, use vegan honey instead of traditional honey. It will taste just as good and meet any dietary restrictions.
This grain-free granola recipe has nothing to do with fat loss, but everything to do with delicious, healthier choices!
Watch how to make this grain-free granola
Cinnamon Nut Grain-Free Granola
- 7 oz raw coconut flakes
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw pecans
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup ground flax meal
- ⅓ cup warm water
- ½ cup honey
- 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pour the coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts into a food processor. Pulse 6-8 times until the coconut and nuts begin to break into smaller pieces. Pour the contents into a large bowl. Add the chia seeds, flax meal, 2 tsp cinnamon, vanilla powder, and salt. Stir to combine.7 oz raw coconut flakes, 1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 cup cashews, 1 cup raw walnuts, 1 cup raw pecans, ¼ cup chia seeds, ¼ cup ground flax meal, 2 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- In a measuring glass, whisk the warm water and honey until the honey dissolves. Pour over the granola mixture and stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened.⅓ cup warm water, ½ cup honey
- Spread out in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is golden brown and toasted.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp cinnamon. While the granola is warm, it will seem soft and as it dries it will become crisp, 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container to keep fresh.
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