My daughter is starting pre-primary at school this week and I’m feeling a bit of panic. The world of school lunches, nut-free everything, and children’s allergies is foreign to me. Thankfully we’ve had the foresight to practice making (and eating) her lunches ahead of time, stock our pantry with Wow butter, and make a big batch of nut-free granola.
The beauty of this recipe is it’s safe for schools (more on that below), totally customizable, healthier than anything you’ll buy pre-made in a store, and makes a batch large enough to have for a week or two. In fact, stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, nut-free granola will keep for up to a month!
Our favourite way to eat granola is with milk like a regular bowl of cereal, or on top of yogurt with fresh fruit.
- large flake oats
- mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax)
- sesame seeds
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- sesame oil
- dried cranberries
A Note On Allergies
Now, I say nut-free granola is safe for schools there are people out there who live with nut-allergies and are allergic to coconut. If this is you, or someone you know, simply omit the coconut from the recipe! Though it is a seed, there are others who are allergic to sesame. Just be mindful of those around you, or at your child’s school who may be living with allergies before sending nut-free granola packed in a lunch.
Preheat the oven and line a deep baking dish, at least 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) in size or larger, with parchment paper with overhang on both sides like a sling. If you’re using a non-stick pan, or other pan where you know sticking isn’t an issue, you can skip the parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, mixed seeds, sesame seeds, and shredded coconut.
Add the honey and sesame oil and stir until all of the oat mixture is well coated.
Pour the granola mixture into the baking dish and spread it out in one even layer.
Place the granola in the oven and bake for 28 to30 minutes, stirring once halfway. The granola will begin to smell toasty about halfway through baking, and by the end will be deep gold and fragrant.
Place the nut-free granola on a cooling rack and stir in the dried cranberries. Once the granola has cooled completely, break it up, and store it in a large glass jar or plastic container with a tight fitting lid.
Notes & Tips
Be sure to use large flake oats. You can use quick oats if that’s what you have on hand, however, I find large flake oats have a better taste and texture for this recipe.
Use raw unsalted seeds for best results.
To reduce sugar intake use unsweetened shredded coconut.
Consider adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or ½-teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of cardamom to your dry oat mixture. Spices add a lovely depth of flavour!
I like to mix my dried cranberries into my nut-free granola when it’s still warm. I’m not sure why but it seems to give the granola a more cohesive look and feel, maybe because the warm seeds tend to cling better to the dried fruit.
You can really use any mixture of seeds you like. I generally use sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds to make up the bulk of my mixture, with chia and flax added. If there are other seeds you like or have on hand feel free to swap them in.
If nuts are a non-issue for you, reduce the seed mixture to one cup and add in ½ to 1 cup of nuts. Almonds and/or pecans are especially good!
Use maple syrup instead of honey in this recipe to make vegan nut-free granola. Note that it will change the taste and the texture. I haven’t tried substituting any other sweeteners in this recipe.
Substitute the sesame oil for any other oil you like or have in your pantry. I’ve gotten great results with walnut oil and coconut oil, which both add a slight flavour. I haven’t tried neutral oils like canola or grapeseed.
You can add in any dried fruit you like! I’ve made nut-free granola with dried blueberries, mango, candied ginger, and raisins. You can really play and use any flavours you love.
More Tasty Oat Recipes
Gluten-Free Rhubarb Crisp Tart rhubarb, crunchy brown sugar and oats, cinnamon, and nutty buckwheat flour.
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes There are two kinds of Nova Scotia oatcakes – soft and chewy, and buttery and crisp. This recipe is for the latter, most often associated with Cape Breton.
Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats Made with raw cacao, coconut yogurt, and shredded coconut this is a chocolate bar-inspired plant based breakfast.
Did you make this recipe? If yes, I would love to know how you made out in the comments below! You can also tag me on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or use the hashtag #kellyneil.
Nut-Free Granola With Honey
- 1 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) or larger, oven-safe baking dish
- Parchment paper
- large mixing bowl
- rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
- wire cooling rack
- 2 cups rolled oats, also called large flake
- 1 ½ cups mixed seeds , raw, unsalted (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flax, or any other seeds you like)
- ½ cup sesame seeds, not toasted
- ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a deep baking dish, 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) in size or larger, with parchment paper leaving an overhang on both sides like a sling.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, mixed seeds, sesame seeds, and shredded coconut. Add the honey and sesame oil and stir until all of the oat mixture is well coated and the ingredients are well distributed.
- Pour the granola mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out in one even layer. Place the granola in the oven and bake it for 28 to 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking.
- Place the baked granola on a wire cooling rack and stir in the dried cranberries. Allow the granola to cool completely before breaking it up and storing it in a large glass or plastic container topped with a tight fitting lid. The granola will keep, stored like this, for up to one month.