sugar-free granola: the most popular recipe from my cookbook

Posted on August 28th, 2012

It’s always the simplest things, isn’t it. My cookbook’s been out four months now and I can tell you the recipe that gets the most love out there is this one – a fun granola recipe I invented one day when I was frantic for something crunchy and golden and…well, something to take the place of cereal on the couch when you’re a tad down (and it’s 4pm on a rainy Saturday afternoon).

Coco-nutty granola, photography by Marija Ivkovic

A lot of you have made the recipe. But I thought I’d share it today with the rest of you. Perhaps you’ve been having a taddish downish kind of day….

Coco-nutty granola

 Makes 5 cups

  • 4-5 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pepitas (preferably activated ones), chopped roughly
  • 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup (optional; I personally don’t sweeten my granola at all. Perhaps do half a batch with, half without and see what you like.)

Preheat oven to 120 C. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, spread evenly on baking paper on a tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden, turning halfway.

When golden (I like to make mine quite dark; the darker it is, the crunchier it is), remove and cool immediately to get it crispy.

I like to eat this granola with yoghurt – nice and chunky.

You may wish to add some rolled oats, in which case toss 2 cups into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, and add a little more oil and syrup.

If you’d like to get hold of the I Quit Sugar Cookbook, simply click on the button below! Happy cooking!

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  • Elizabeth

    This recipe is delicious. Are rolled oats allowed the first 8 weeks?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    of course, why not?

    [Reply]

  • Sharon in Philly

    True, I enjoy this one

    [Reply]

  • kelly

    What could I use instead of coconut (which I react to)
    thanks

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    maybe buckwheat groats to fill it out a bit or cacao nibs (add after cooking!)?

    [Reply]

    kelly Reply:

    Awesome – I adore roasted buckwheat groats.
    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    There’s a recipe in my next cookbook for something similar with groats!

  • Amber

    i love this recipe but have had to give it up as my youngest daughter is anaphylatic/allergic to tree nuts – so all nuts are out of house!! :( It’s cracker and highly addictive.
    Ax

    [Reply]

  • http://achievetheimpossiblecoach.blogspot.ca/ Natalia

    I absolutely love this granola. Been eating it everyday for breakfast!

    [Reply]

  • Kylie

    sounds yummy, how long do they last/keep if wishing to make a super big batch?

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    mmm good question, i’d love to make up a big batch too. :)

    also some people say that the cooking process destroys the enzymes in toasted mueslis, would that apply here, or is 120 degrees a good temperature to keep them from destruction?!!!

    thanks sarah, and safe trip home! :)

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    Hi Kylie,
    I reckon it would last well due to the coconut oil being very stable. But quite frankly, its never been a problem in our house…it gets eaten before it can even think about going off!! Way too yummy!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    It will last a few weeks in a sealed jar…as to the “killing enzymes” question…yes, but we’re not talking SUPER vibrant ingredients to start with…

    [Reply]

  • Kristy

    I’ve been dying to try out this recipe but can’t seem to find coconut flakes anywhere! Can anyone recommend a good online site that they buy wholefoods from? I’d prefer to just buy from a shop, but even my local organic market didn’t stock them –thanks!

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    superchargedfood
    http://www.superchargedfood.com/shop/unsweetened-coconut-flakes/

    [Reply]

  • Kristy

    Thanks Seeker – that site is fantastic!

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    ti’s, oh ’tis! :)

    [Reply]

  • Rebecca

    The crunchy granola is divine Sarah! Thank you.
    Would though be quite interested in the nutritional breakdown of the recipe.
    I have tried various webisites to find it out, but none have been successful due to either not having some of the ingredients listed or me being a ‘tight-arse’ and not paying to use the website.
    Anyone have any suggestions, please?

    [Reply]

    Sugar Free Reply:

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

    You may have to try different ways of expressing things (i.e. almond flour instead of almond meal) as it is American, but I use it all the time & find it very helpful.

    I calculated the recipe based on using 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, shredded coconut, 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pepitas, 1/4 cup rice malt syrup and the rest based how Sarah said and this is a rough idea of the nutritional information (it will depend on the brands you use)…

    For the whole batch [per serve - makes 10 half cup serves]:
    Kilojoules: 13,635 [1363.5] — plus 1/2 cup yoghurt would make a perfect meal
    Fat: 301.8g [30.2g] — sounds like a lot, but all good fats & very filling
    Sat Fat: 171.2g [17.1g]
    Poly: 50.6g [5.1g]
    Mono: 56.2g [5.6g]
    Cholesterol: 0g — very low
    Sodium: 258.2mg [25.8mg] — very low
    Potassium: 1604mg [160.4g]
    Carbs: 1162g [116.2g]
    Dietary Fibre: 61.9g [6.2g] — great (25% daily intake)
    Sugars: 64.6g [6.5g] — these will be glucose, not fructose
    Protein: 63.6g [6.4g] — good

    1/2 cup also provides 20% daily Vitamin E needs, 4.6% calcium, 11% iron, 6.6% zinc…hello lovely skin & nails!

    [Omitting the rice malt syrup omits 71.4kg & 4.2g carbs per serve]

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Wow! I personally never worry about those kind of things…If it’s made of honest ingredients, that’s enough. But thank you Sugar Free!

    [Reply]

    Jenna Felicity Reply:

    I’m not sure how you calculated that would come out at 116 carbs per serve? That’s massive!

    I make a similar recipe – pretty much everything above, but with added almond meal, desiccated coconut, orange zest and dried fruit (apricots, blueberries and cranberries, high in sugar) – and even with the rice malt syrup it only comes out at 10g carbs (8g sugar) for half a cup or 45g. (Without the syrup it’s 6g carbs/4g sugar).

    Do you think this was an error because I’m not sure how you’d get so many carbs from those ingredients! :)

    [Reply]

  • Sarah k

    Thanks Sarah, I LOVE this recipe and make it every week. Instead of coconut flakes I have just make it with shredded coconut and it’s still YUM. Be careful with the spice jars though as I accidently made it with chinese five spice instead of cinnamon (jars looked the same). May have to use it to crumb fish……

    [Reply]

  • http:/lowfructoselife.com Alice

    This is a great recipe, lots of nuts, what does “activated” mean? I assume in regards to the pepitas only, or all the nuts? Many thanks

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I provide a recipe in my ebook for activated nuts…but also search on my site, too.

    [Reply]

  • http://feedthedogwhoblogs.blogspot.com carmel

    just made it this morning .. totally YUM though I think I overdid the coconut oil as the mixture is still quite wet. Also, needed to blast it at a higher temperature and longer than 20 minutes to get that really golden crunchy texture.

    I say no need to add the syrup, it is so sweet without. Love it.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.livehealthysimply.com Jessica Nazarali

    I have the cook book but haven’t gotten round to making this yet…Need to give it ago!

    [Reply]

  • Linda

    How long should this last in an airtight jar? I would like to make a week or so’s servings at one time, plus I have 4 kids who LOVE this, so it doesnt last long in our house :-)

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    Thanks – just made this, so yummy!! Perfect for pregnancy post- dinner munchies :)

    [Reply]

  • Meg

    Hi. I’ve just purchased the I quit sugar book & immediately started reading. However I’ve just come across the note which states that this is not a guide suitable for people suffering with fructose malabsorption which I have. I am wondering why this is? This is probably not a suitable place to post this but I could not find anywhere else for questions & feedback.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Meg, it’s not suitable in the sense that I’m not a doctor and can’t advise on these things. A lot of recipes have coconut products, which I know some avoid with they have FM. However, if you know your condition well, you won’t have a problem. I just have to cover myself!!

    [Reply]

    Meg Reply:

    Thanks Sarah. I will give it a go & see how I go.

    [Reply]

  • toni

    I keep mine in the fridge as it keeps it nice and crunchy!

    [Reply]

    Rachael Reply:

    Thanks Toni I will be trying this

    [Reply]

  • Simon

    I have made three batches now and just love it. So do my wife and daughter which means next time I am going to make a larger amount! I too have reduced the amount of coconut oil and had to cook for longer than 20 mins to get anywhere near crunchy. I also sprinkle cacao nibs on in the morning as an added treat. Yum!

    [Reply]

  • Rachael

    Oh this is just the most delicious and simple recipe!
    It the page I turn to most in your cookbook.

    Really loving your blog and your inspirations Sarah :)

    [Reply]

  • http://thebungalowstudio.com Taryn

    On week 2 of IQS- armed with the IQS cookbook and original 6 week IQS book.
    Love this recipe! It is a delicious treat.
    Had no idea Chia was such a little wonder! Will be using it more in my meals!
    Thank you Sarah!

    [Reply]

  • emma

    I made this except I used a few medjool dates. Cut them up and break them down over a low heat, then add your other ingredients (plus cinnamon & vanilla). it worked really well and it was jsut sweet enough! Gerat recipe Sarah!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.naomiirvin.com.au naomi

    I love this recipe! And since I am such a sweet tooth – I sometimes add some natural yoghurt and a generous sprinkle (ok – a dump of…) of cacao powder. For a sugar quitter, this is a pretty good alternative to a snickers or a picnic or the like ;) :)
    Yesterday I made the choc berry mud and it was sensational. Even my very VERY fussy five year old ate it, knowing full well it had avocado in it and suss on why the spinach leaves were on the bench!

    [Reply]

  • Jessica

    I have this in the oven as we speak

    [Reply]

  • Debbie

    Made it for the first time today- yum!! Had it with natural yoghurt. I’m going to try the cocao powder idea.

    [Reply]

  • Stressed Fehc

    Hi Posters. Doesn’t surprise me people get different results from same recipe. My wish would be that all recipes would use weight instead of cups sticks spoons etc. either imperial or metric. I have bought both Australian and American ‘spoons’. Different from each other and from European sizes. Also when using a ‘teaspoon’ would be helpful to state ‘level’ or ‘heaped’. Love reading about Sarah’s journey. Love cooking real food too. TGIF……

    [Reply]

  • http://mymezzaluna.com Edwina

    Yum, I love granola! I just made an activated buckwheat one yesterday. Been crunching bits all day!

    [Reply]

  • KP

    Is it cups of each type of nut or 2 cups in total?

    [Reply]

    cwd Reply:

    I have this same question. Can anyone clarify?

    [Reply]

    Jenna Felicity Reply:

    I use two cups in total: 1/2 each of almonds, macadamias, Brazil nuts and walnuts. Yum!

    [Reply]

  • Col

    Hi Sarah

    I’ve just bought the cookbook too and was checking out this and other recipes thinking there’s a LOT of coconut. What interests me is that I’m sure over many years of weight watchers and other diets I thought coconut was a real no-no. Now I see you use coconut oil as well. Any chance you could give a quick run down of why you choose coconut? (Like previous poster couldn’t find another spot to ask a question as a sugar-free newbie!).

    [Reply]

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  • http://journals.fotki.com/holbornmassage29/david-correira/entry/wfkbtbdtfdfq/ massage london

    Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your posts.

    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that cover the same subjects? Appreciate it!

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    Could point me in a direction to find/buy rice malt syrup? I haven’t been able to find it in any store and I think I need to look online next but I’m not having any luck finding it. Can you help me out? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Annie Reply:

    I just got mine from the health food section of Coles.

    [Reply]

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  • Linda Johnson

    I have a silly question, is it 2cups each of cashews, pepitas etc. ?

    [Reply]

    Lozza Reply:

    I was wondering the exact same thing! The recipe could be a bit more clearly written to state whether it is 2 cups each of the nuts, or 2 cups of nuts in total, made up of any of the following nuts : walnuts, almonds etc.

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    Hate to be the one to put a downer on things, but I made the granola yesterday and just finished a cup for breakfast 5 minutes ago, and now I’m feeling kinda sick..??! Not sure if it was all the oil / rice syrup… but it’s not agreeing with me… :(

    [Reply]

  • Annie

    Is rice malt syrup ok if you are doing the 8 week quit plan?

    [Reply]

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  • Renee

    Does any one else find that this takes way longer to cook? I love it but it takes over an hour to cook – and I’m sure my oven is OK!

    [Reply]

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