chai granola dun close

This is the crunchiest, tastiest granola! And, it’s grain-free. I made enough to fill 2 big jars. I was hoping to see how long it would stay fresh, but it was so good that all I can tell you is that it’s good for at least a week if you keep the jar covered. After that, it was gone. We ate it mixed in yogurt, with milk as a cereal, on coconut-based ice cream sundaes, and straight out of the jar by the handful.  At first glance, this recipe seems a bit tedious and time-consuming, but it makes so much granola that it’s worth the time.

There are so many nutritious ingredients here that I don’t know where to begin… I’ll tell you a few… Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. And, that’s just the seeds. There are coconut flakes and your favorite nuts. And, it’s sweetened with pure maple syrup, dates and bananas. And, there’s lots of cinnamon.

You can use whatever nuts you like. I used walnuts and pecans. Walnuts, because they are great for you, especially if you are having lower back or knee pain or if you are feeling a bit constipated. They are also good for urinary tract infections and kidney stones, and they even can help lower cholesterol. In the olden days, men believed that if they ate 20 walnuts a day for one month, they could combat impotence. I also used pecans because I  love the way they taste and they are good to boost energy.

Bananas are good to eat if you have hemorrhoids.  I use maple syrup as the main sweetener here because it really gives this granola just the right amount of sweetness and it goes great with the dates and cinnamon. Maple is a great source of manganese and zinc. Manganese helps our bones stay strong; it aids the calcium in our bodies.  Zinc helps out our immune system and it helps the body to heal itself.

Put bananas, dates, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, coconut sugar and vanilla in a food processor…
bananas dates cinnamon processor

Whiz it up until its smooth…
bananas dates processed for granola

Chop up some pecans…

And walnuts…
walnuts (not pecans)

Put them in a bowl with some coconut flakes…
coconut flakes seeds nuts

Pumpkin seeds…
pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds…
sunflower seeds

Chia seeds…
chia seeds pic

And flax seeds…
flax seeds pic

And coconut sugar…
coconut sugar bag

Mix it all together in a large bowl…
dry granola ing very close

And stir in the processed bananas and dates…
stirring processed sauce into granola bowl

Spread the mixture onto two large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets…
chai granola baking in oven

And bake until it’s crunchy…
chai granola tray

Then, remove it from the oven and stir in the maple syrup and bake again…
chai granola very close tray

Let it cool and store it in covered mason jars…
chai granola dun jars

Enjoy it all week long…
chai granola dun

Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola
(makes 2 very large jars)

18 pitted dates
4 ripe bananas
3-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 Tbs coconut sugar
3 cups raw, organic walnuts, chopped
3 cups raw, organic pecans, chopped
2 heaping cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Line 2 large rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.

Put dates, banans, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla and coconut sugar into food processor. Process until smooth.

Put walnuts, pecans, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds in a large bowl. Stir in banana mixture. Spread onto the 2 lined baking sheets. Bake 1-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. After the hour and a half, turn the oven off and let the granola gradually cool inside the oven. When it’s cool, remove the trays, turn the oven back on to 200 degrees and drizzle the maple syrup evenly across the granola. Stir gently. Bake for an additional 25 minutes, stirring once. Turn the oven off and cool inside the oven again. (I remember reading somewhere that cooling granola inside the oven is what makes it so crispy, and it really does seem to work!) When the granola is cool, store it in covered jars. Enjoy!


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