Breakfast, lunch, snack time – even dessert, I could eat granola any time of day. I decided to see if my son agreed and made up a batch for him to take into school in his lunch box. The school has a nut free policy as there are several children at the school with serious allergies so I made it nut free. This delicious nut free granola is perfect for anyone with a nut allergy or for sending in a lunchbox to a nut free school.
Coconut is one of my favourite ingredients to include in granola. Little S loves it as well and picks out all the coconut flakes and eats them first. My daughter however picks them all out and sneaks them to her brother to eat when I’m not looking! Coconut is sometimes mistaken for a nut – however it’s actually a seed and is therefore safe to be sent in to a nut free school. Coconut allergies are possible but are extremely rare.
I’ve been making homemade granola for years after coming across a recipe in this lovely cookbook called Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. This book is full of the kind of recipes I’d love to make if I didn’t have kids who were fussy eaters and who want breakfast to be on the table, like now. They’re not keen on waiting around. However, I did find the time to make the granola and I went on to experiment with many different varieties. In fact I even planned to open a granola business for a while. I went on a food business course where I learnt a lot and made some wonderful friends. However, then baby S (who is no longer a baby!) came along and I couldn’t find a way to make it profitable so it never happened.
These days I settle for making granola for us at home and sometimes for friends. I’ve never been keen on the over-sweet taste of shop bought granola and lots of people have told me that they agree. This recipe has maple syrup in it and the sugar from the dried fruit but this is a lot less sugar than most commercial granolas, making this a healthier choice for breakfast.
How you serve it is up to you. With fruit and yoghurt, sprinkled over porridge, maybe even with pancakes or just straight out of the jar when no-one’s looking – it’s your granola after all.
Here’s how to make coconut, cherry and sunflower seed nut free granola:
- 300g jumbo oats
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 50g dried coconut flakes
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 100ml maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g dried cherries
- Pre-heat the oven to 120°C (fan)/140°C/gas mark 1.
- Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Place all the ingredients apart from the dried cherries in a bowl and mix well.
- Spread out on to the baking trays in a thin layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stir well, and then return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely on the tray then mix with the cherries and store in an airtight container.
If you like this you might like my other breakfast ideas.