I used to love cereal. Live on it, a lot of the time, considering that I was vegetarian and a stereotypically impoverished student. My favorites were the crunchy kinds with lots of fruit. If by fruit you mean, “freeze dried fruit-a-likes”. It’s amazing how things change.
After making my Paleo Yogurt Pots, I really wanted to make a parfait. But a parfait really, really needs something crispy and crunchy on the top. Everyone can agree on that, right? But since I wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy this crispy-crunchy-paleo-topping, I wanted to make it nut free. Hmm. Nut free granola that’s also grain free? Eeeep.
In place of the nuts, I’ve used a variety of seeds. Instead of using nut butters to hold things together, I’ve used a little smidge of my new favorite thing, tahini, which gives a “nutty” flavor of its own. I also didn’t want to use a large amount of sweetener in this, so I’ve used a little maple syrup and some pureed banana to finish off the job. Along with a sprinkle of sea salt at the end, this nut free granola is fantastically moreish! It holds up to a bowl full of coconut milk beautifully and makes me remember how much I used to love the satisfying granola crunch. Without the processed ingredients or resulting stomach ache, naturally!
How to make this Banana Maple Nut Free Granola
Use a mini food processor or blender to puree together the tahini, banana and maple syrup. In a large bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients. Pour over the banana mixture and stir until evenly combined and coated. Line a baking tray with a Silpat or parchment paper, then spread the granola mixture in an even layer across the baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt and it’s ready for the oven! Once the nut free granola is baked and cooled, you can stir in whatever extras you would like. Here I used a combination of unsweetened dried blueberries and unsweetened dried cherries. Plus a few soy & dairy free chocolate chips. Because, reasons.
Crunchy Banana Maple Nut Free Granola
This crispy crunchy treat is not only grain free, but it’s even a nut free granola! A paleo cereal replacement that doesn’t get soggy even in coconut milk.
- 2 bananas (about 1 cup puree)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raw flax seeds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Generous pinch of coarse ground sea salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried blueberries
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
- Optional: 1/4 cup soy & dairy free mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- In a mini food processor or blender, puree the banana, tahini, maple syrup and cinnamon until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and shredded coconut.
- Pour the banana mixture into the bowl and stir until the seeds and coconut are evenly coated.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Pour the granola mixture onto the lined tray and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, flipping at least once to make sure both sides are toasted, breaking it up into large chunks as you do so. The longer you cook it, the crispier it will be! Just bear in mind that it will crisp up additionally as it cools. Make sure it doesn’t burn – keep an eye on the granola the first time you make it as oven temperatures vary!
- When done, remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack. Allow to cool before breaking up the larger chunks into clusters.
- Add the granola clusters to a bowl and stir through the blueberries, cherries and chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Need to check your nut list. Coconut is a tree nut.
Botanically speaking, a coconut is not a true nut, it is the seed of a drupaceous fruit. The confusion comes in because the FDA decided to classify coconut as a nut back in 2006 for labelling purposes, making it mandatory for producers of food products to disclose coconut ingredients on packaging. All that said, it is possible for people to be allergic to coconut, but that allergy is largely viewed as separate to a tree nut allergy as cross reactivity is very rare. Hope that helps!