Tired of spending crazy money on expensive bags of store bought granola? Make this nut free granola recipe at home using your favorite dried fruit! It’s gluten-free, vegan and nut-free so all can enjoy!
Granola is one of those pantry indulgences I absolutely love having on hand and start to panic when I run out.
Its uses are endless.
From a smoothie bowl topping to a yogurt bowl addition or even just by itself with some milk, granola wins my heart.
For some reason in my head I always thought the “crunch” in granola had to come from nuts.
It’s sort of one of those face palm moments because duh, there’s so many other ways to achieve the perfect granola crunch without using nuts!
This healthy nut free granola is chock full of nutritious hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats (don’t worry they’re optional if you don’t have them on hand), a mix of dried fruit and coconut flakes.
Some simple spices and vanilla flavoring round it out as a homemade no nut granola you can enjoy any time of year.
It also makes a great DIY holiday gift as it checks all the dietary boxes of gluten-free, nut-free and vegan!
INGREDIENTS FOR EASY NUT FREE GRANOLA
You’ll need to gather the following:
- rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
- sunflower seeds
- raw buckwheat groats (*see note below)
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- dried fruit of choice (I used goji berries, raisins and figs)
- maple syrup
- olive oil
- vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Raw buckwheat groats are the hulled kernels from the buckwheat plant.
They’re naturally gluten-free and packed with antioxidants.
Interesting fact – buckwheat is one of the few plants that is considered a complete protein.
I like to keep buckwheat groats on hand to add to oatmeal or make my overnight buckwheat oats. I even sprinkle them on top of smoothie bowls for added crunch.
If you don’t keep buckwheat groats on hand, just use more pepitas and/or sunflower seeds in its place.
Pick and choose whatever kind of dried fruit you want for the granola.
Without nuts in this granola recipe, I like the crunchy texture dried goji berries bring. I had figs and raisins in the pantry so that’s what I used!
Any dried fruit is up for grabs though. Dried cherries, cranberries, apricots, mango, golden berries, blueberries, dates, mulberries, etc. would all work fine.
If using fruit that’s bigger (like apricots, mango and figs), give it a rough chop so all the elements of the granola are somewhat similar in size.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE NO NUT GRANOLA
Once you’ve assembled the granola ingredients, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients except the dried fruit in a large bowl.
Stir together then add the olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until everything is well coated and spread out onto the baking sheet.
Make sure to spread the granola mixture out evenly on the baking sheet. It’s helpful to use the largest pan you have so you avoid any areas of clumping.
This will ensure the granola browns evenly and develops a nice crunchy texture while baking. I love my heavy duty USA pan for this recipe.
Bake for 18-20 minutes tossing the granola half way through.
Remove from the oven and immediately add the dried fruit to the baking sheet.
Toss to incorporate the fruit evenly throughout the granola then press down gently using a spatula or your hands to sort of set the fruit into the mixture.
This will help form those addictive granola clumps as it cools.
Let the granola cool on the baking sheet at room temperature.
Once completely cooled, transfer to a storage container.
HOW TO STORE HEALTHY NUT-FREE GRANOLA
Just like any granola recipe, this nut-free recipe can be stored in any air-tight container or jar.
I like to keep mine in these 1 liter weck jars as they’re the perfect size for the amount this recipe makes (about 3.5 cups).
If you’re giving the granola away as gifts, smaller mason or weck jars are a great container that you can easily dress up for any occasion.
A simple evergreen leaf is perfect for any winter holiday!
HOW TO ENJOY THIS ALLERGY-FRIENDLY GRANOLA
I eat smoothie bowls (this avocado pineapple smoothie bowl is always a favorite) about 3-4 times a week for breakfast lately. I can guarantee you, homemade granola is always one of the many toppings I reach for.
This granola is a great way to get in some added healthy fats, crunch and antioxidants to a smoothie bowl! Yogurt bowls are another way to enjoy the granola.
For double the decadence, try it on top of a bowl of ice cream.
You can even make French toast coated in granola!
And sometimes, my favorite way to enjoy it is simply in a bowl with a splash of (plant) milk.
There’s really no better way to relish the crunchy deliciousness of granola than unadulterated with just some milk as a snack!
WHY MAKE GRANOLA AT HOME VS. BUYING IT
Have you ever gone to throw a bag or box of store bought granola in your shopping cart and then balked at the price?
I know I have!
Like many good quality things in life, good quality granola (I’m talking about the organic, gluten-free varieties without a TON of added sugar) is not inexpensive.
Thankfully, making your own healthy, organic, gluten-free and nut-free granola can be!
For a fraction of the price of store bought granola and at least 2-3x more in quantity, you can easily make your own granola recipe at home.
When the prep time is only about 10 minutes and the bake time as little as 20, I’d say this is one of those things where homemade is worth the extra effort!
VARIATIONS TO THE RECIPE
There are so many directions you can take with homemade granola which is one of the reasons I love making it!
It’s truly customizable to what you have on hand.
Using oats as the base, the rest of the ingredients are pretty much interchangeable.
Use any seeds you have on hand in place of the pepitas, sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats. You can even use cacao nibs for a chocolaty crunch!
Chia seeds and/or sesame seeds are other options as well.
If you’re not a fan of coconut or need to avoid it, just omit it and use more dried fruit or even chocolate chips (add after baking like the dried fruit).
If you don’t need to avoid nuts, you can obviously add some! Pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts are some of my favorites in granola but choose what you like best.
Maple syrup can be replaced with honey if needed (although the recipe won’t be vegan any longer).
And the olive oil is flexible too. Melted coconut oil is a good substitute or avocado oil even as it’s pretty neutral in flavor.
I always prefer to choose organic, cold-pressed and virgin varieties.
And as mentioned above, the type of dried fruit is completely customizable to your preference.
And lastly, change up the spices for the seasons or your mood!
This recipe uses cinnamon as a pretty standard, all-season friendly flavoring but nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin spice, even gingerbread spices are all great ways to go as well.
Throw in some cacao powder with the salt and spices for a chocolate version of this no nut granola!
You can even turn these into nut free granola bars if preferred.
WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST NUT FREE GRANOLA?
Obviously, I’m a bit biased with claiming this is the best nut free granola recipe out there but hear me out on why.
- It’s made with accessible ingredients you likely already have or can easily find in a grocery store.
- It’s prepped and baked in just 30 minutes!
- With 3.5 cups of granola, the recipe will last you quite a bit (each serving is 1/4 cup).
- It’s suitable for all diets: vegans, celiacs/gluten-sensitive people and nut-allergy households or nut-free schools.
- It stores for 3-4 weeks at room temperature.
- Makes a great option for an edible homemade gift (maybe along with some Candied Bacon Nut Brittle if gifting to a non nut-allergy house!)
MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS YOU’LL LOVE:
Nut Free Granola
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free certified rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat groats *see note for substitutions
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dried fruit of choice **see note
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed.
- Add the maple syrup, oil and vanilla to the bowl and stir again until all ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients.
- Spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes stirring the granola mixture halfway through.
- Remove from the oven, immediately add the dried fruit, toss to stir into the granola then gently press down into the mixture using the back of a spatula or your hands to help form clumps as it dries.
- Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet then store in an air tight jar or container at room temperature.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.