I’ve devoted some time today to preparing about a months worth of this grain-free granola – time will tell if I can make it last a full month…!  Most shop bought granola has oats and sugar as the first ingredients listed, neither of which I like to include much of in my diet – oats I don’t digest too well and sugar I try to avoid when possible.  Making my own is the only way I can enjoy this crunchy and delicious option for breakfast or as healthy snack.

When you read ‘7 hours’ as the total time for the recipe – don’t run away please! 5 hours of this time is spent soaking the nuts and seeds, 1 hour is while it’s roasting in the oven and the remaining time is cooling.  The time you actually spend doing the recipe is very little!  Not bad for up to a months worth of granola!

I’ve sweetened this granola with maple syrup but feel free to use honey or even some soft brown sugar – whatever you have available.

I happened to have a really good selection of nuts and seeds stored in my fridge this morning so I used a mixture of all of them which gives great texture, flavour and variety of nutrients.

Is it really necessary to soak the nuts and roast them – why not just grab a handful of raw nuts?! Well, you can do this and I often grab a handful of raw nuts when I’m in a hurry or hadn’t been prepared for 7 hours of soaking and roasting and cooling! BUT – before I convince you to not bother making the recipe, nuts and seeds contain an enzyme inhibitor called Phytic Acid.  This phytic acid is de-activated/broken down when the nuts are soaked and this process is further aided by adding acidity to the soaking water such as lemon juice or vinegar.  Doing this makes the nuts and seeds easier to digest and access the nutrients. Makes complete sense when you think about it because seeds are laying dormant, just waiting to by planted and for the right conditions to come along so they can burst into life again!  You could eat the nuts and seeds after soaking and rinsing but I find them a bit wet and slimy and prefer the crunch you get after roasting!

Try the recipe and I dare you to tell me that going to all this effort wasn’t worth it! They really do taste amazing compared to grabbing a handful of raw nuts – the sweet maple syrup and the touch of salt and the new texture the soaking and roasting brings – it just works!

My all time favourite way of eating this granola is with a generous helping of thick, creamy yoghurt and some fresh berries….

Grain-free, Activated - Maple & Coconut Granola

The Balanced Kitchen
Cook Time 1 hour
soaking time 5 hours
Course Breakfast
Servings 1 month


  • 250 g walnuts
  • 250 g cashews
  • 250 g hazelnuts
  • 250 g almonds
  • 100 g buckwheat groats
  • 100 g sunflower seeds
  • 100 g pumpkin seeds
  • 100 g sesame seeds
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar for soaking
  • 1 generous pinch salt for soaking
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 5 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 generous pinch sea salt flakes
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 100 g coconut flakes


  • This recipe takes a total of around 7 hours to complete. 5 hours of that is soaking the nuts and seeds. 1 Hour is drying and roasting the soaked seeds and the rest of the time is cooling.
  • Place all of the nuts and seeds in a large, heat-proof bowl. Boil a kettle and pour the freshly boiled water over the nuts and seeds until they are covered. Add the apple cider vinegar and the salt for soaking and stir everything together. Leave to soak for 5 hours or up to 10 hours.
  • Once the nuts and seeds have been soaked, rinse and drain them in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  • Spread the drained nuts and seeds evenly across 2 large baking trays.
    Place in a pre-heated oven at 140 degrees C (fan) for 45 minutes. You may want to mix the nuts and seeds once during this time to ensure even roasting as the outer edges will cook faster than the middle.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the trays from the oven and tip all of the nuts and seeds into the large bowl you used for soaking (give it a rinse and dry before doing this).
    Add the coconut oil (solid room temp is fine), maple syrup, cinnamon or mixed spice, sea salt and coconut flakes. Combine everything together well with a spoon.
  • Return the mixture to the baking trays and spread evenly. Return the trays to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the mixture to cool in the oven for about half an hour or more, until the granola is dry and crunchy.
  • Remove the trays from the oven, allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.
    Place a piece of clean kitchen roll in the bottom of the container to collect any moisture.
    Ideally, the nuts and seeds will be completely dry by the end of the cooking and cooling time but the kitchen paper is a precaution as you do not want any moisture in the container which could cause mold.
  • Serve on it's own as a snack or with creamy yoghurt and fresh fruit - my favourite!
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