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Nut-free granola

In our household, most of us have food allergies of one sort or another. In particular, two of us have nut allergies, which makes it difficult to buy things like granola from the store.1 It’s a great breakfast food, though, so I’ve started making it at home.

I had trouble finding a nut-free granola recipe that’s to our liking, so I adapted the “Crisp Homemade Granola” recipe from Serious Eats2, with just one change: Instead of the recipe’s 2½ oz. chopped almonds and 2¼ oz. pecans, I use 2½ oz. shelled sunflower seeds.3 That, plus paying attention to the ingredients I use (like one does in a household with nut allergies), is all it takes.

Okay, fine; I’ve made a few other changes as well, not related to nuts:

With all those changes, the base granola ingredients are:

And the mix-in ingredients are:

Two parchment paper–lined half-sheets of granola are cooling on the stovetop.  Identifiable are rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (shelled), dried cherries, and dried cranberries.
A double batch of granola, from December 2020.

I make this often enough that we order the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds from Gerbs, an allergen-friendly supplier. I’ve gone back and forth on using pre-roasted or raw seeds; pre-roasted seeds save a little bit of effort, but honestly not much at all. (If you use pre-roasted seeds, you won’t need the oil or salt for the mix-ins.)

Also, I’ve found that it’s almost as easy to make a double batch as the standard recipe. I put the two baking sheets on different racks in the oven (the doubled recipe doesn’t fit on one sheet, and two sheets don’t fit on one rack), swapping the sheets each time I stir the granola in step 3.

As a final note, this makes a nice Christmas gift: Just divide it up among Mason jars or jam jars or whatever you have.


  1. We aren’t allergic to all nuts, but combined with concerns about cross-contamination, it’s enough that we just avoid all of them (along with products that are likely processed on the same equipment). ↩︎

  2. My web browser detected 30 trackers on the recipe web page. Thirty! I don’t want to be tracked at all, but 30 is just ridiculous; there’s no way they’re getting any value from most of them. If anybody from Serious Eats happens to read this: Please, get your web development house in order, and cut back on the trackers. ↩︎

  3. It’s an overall loss in weight, but using nearly 5 oz. makes me feel like I’m just eating a bowl of milky sunflower seeds, which is not what I’m going for. ↩︎

  4. Mini–chocolate chips are small enough to melt thoroughly when mixing with the hot-from-the-oven granola; regular-sized chips cool down before they’ve melted quite enough. ↩︎