Crunchy and full of clusters, this healthy granola is a weekly staple. It’s made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and natural sweeteners. It’s also vegan and easily made gluten-free. As a snack or breakfast, this coconut and date granola has the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s packed with energizing carbohydrates and hormone-balancing fats. This granola is delicious on its own, satisfying with yogurt, or a perfect smoothie topping.
how to make Healthy granola
It’s all in the ingredients. Rather than using heaps of refined sugar and oils, this granola is made with ingredients high in fiber, iron, nourishing fats, and protein. Unlike packaged granola, which is usually high in sugar and industrial seed oils (both are inflammatory), this homemade version has omega-3 fatty acids (beneficial for decreasing inflammation) and unrefined sugar.
Hearty, old-fashioned (rolled) oats are the best for granola, as they keep their shape during baking. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need gluten-free granola. My favorite brand is One Degree Organics. Their oats are sprouted (easier to digest), organic (free of many pesticides and herbicides) and are glyphosate-free.
Packed with vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and monounsaturated fat, almonds provide crunch and satiety in this recipe. If you have an almond allergy, other options include walnuts, which are rich in omega-3s, cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.
unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Rich in fiber and MCTs, unsweetened coconut flakes aid in satiation. They also add texture and a subtle sweetness.
Unrefined Coconut Oil
The unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil may have positive effects on health, such as boosting fat loss, heart health, and brain function. More on that, here. Unrefined coconut oil has a mild taste and helps make this granola crisp and crunchy.
CHia and Flax seeds
Chia and flax seeds are two of my favorite ingredients. These tiny seeds pack a lot of nutrition. They’re a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fatty acids and a variety of minerals. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve brain function and boost the immune system.
Pumpkin and sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most commonly consumed types of seeds, and are good sources of phosphorus, monounsaturated fats (like almonds) and omega-6 fats. They’re also high in protein, magnesium, and iron. Sunflower seeds also contain protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E.
Real maple syrup, like Choice Maple, provides flavor, natural sweetness, and helps the granola bind together. To make this granola more blood sugar friendly, use Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup. Alternatively, you could use honey.
Along with maple syrup, dates lend extra sweetness, a chewy texture, a fruit-forward flavor, and fiber. Instead of dates, you can use dried cranberries, apricots, or currants. When possible, look for dried fruit without any added sugar.
Cinnamon, Vanilla, and sea salt
For flavorful granola, don’t skip the cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt. Sea salt, in particular, helps all of the other flavors shine. Cinnamon is a warming spice that pairs well with the maple syrup and dates. A few small studies have also linked cinnamon to supporting blood sugar balance. Vanilla extract also provides subtle flavor to tie everything together.
Tips for storing granola
Once cooled, store your granola in a well-sealed, air-tight jar in your pantry. That said, make sure it’s at room temperature before storing it. That will stop any condensation from making the granola soggy. Granola can last up to six months in the pantry, but you can extend this for an additional three months in the freezer.
best ways to eat granola
Mix granola with your favorite low-sugar cereal (I like Three Wishes and Catalina Crunch), berries, and unsweetened milk (hemp, almond, etc.). Another breakfast option is chia pudding, topped with granola and chopped fruit.
Plain greek yogurt with granola, chia seeds, and a drizzle of nut butter on top. This is satiating and loaded with fiber and healthy fats. Make granola trail mix — for on the go, pack a small tupperware container with granola, dark chocolate chips, and more nuts.
Other than as a topping for vanilla ice cream, another creative way to use granola is in a recipe like this. Vegan matcha blackberry cheesecake bars are far from complicated and incredibly delicious.
Coconut and Date Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 4-5 pitted and chopped dates
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 pinches sea salt
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in oats, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and sea salt. Mix well.
- In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix.
- Spread the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, mix the granola.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and add in the rest of the ingredients (coconut, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds). Pop the sheet back in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until the edges have browned.
- Pull the baking sheet out of the oven, sprinkle on chopped dates, then let the granola cool to room temp. Break into pieces. This granola will stay fresh (in your cupboard) for up to one month.