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Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free

February 15, 2015

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
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I know you have probably gathered by now that I *love* breakfast. We have a hot breakfast most days of the week including school mornings. When you make large batches of oatmeal or freezer pancakes and breakfast cookies, it is pretty easy to have a hot breakfast on the table in a matter of minutes even on the busiest of mornings.

But about once a week I crave cereal. I don’t think a day went by in my childhood that a box of cereal wasn’t breakfast, so for me it is just comforting, and familiar. I gave up boxed cereals years ago when I learned that the extrusion process that the grains go through literally make the grains toxic and void of any nutrient value (yes even organic boxed cereals).

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
I went years without cereal until I tried making granola. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but as it turns out not only was it really easy to make, but it was so delicious!

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
As children have multiplied in the house, I have had to modify how I approach granola making. What used to feed my husband and I for a few weeks, only lasts a week or two now, and I don’t care to make granola every month. I get my big stock pot out and to have enough room to mix this large batch now! We have granola about once a week and this lasts us a few months.

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
If you have a dehydrator, great! If you don’t, no problem! I made granola in the oven for years! I have only had a dehydrator for a couple years now, and I really do love it. I have a “middle of the road” dehydrator and feel like it works fantastic – I use it all the time! And there is *nothing* quite like the “set it and forget it” of letting the dehydrator dry out your granola overnight and waking up the the warm smell of cinnamon in the morning!

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free
I store the granola in gallon freezer bags laying flat in the freezer. I keep one bag in the fridge for use to pull from for breakfast or just to grab a handful for a snack on the go.

The simplest of ingredients and sweetened with a little fruit and raw honey. The kids will love the little bits of apple and raisin – it is perfect drenched in raw milk or coconut milk, or used as a topper or mix-in to whole yogurt.

Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free

Simple Cinnamon Granola

Every so often I crave cold cereal. This hits all the fun flavors I remember from my childhood, without the extra sugar.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Soak8 hours
Total Time8 hours 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon granola recipe, homemade cinnamon granola
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Renee -


  • 8 cups oats Not quick oats. If you are gluten free be sure your oats actually say gluten free like THESE
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour if you are nut free replace this with another gluten free flour like rice flour, or you can add 2 more cups of oats to the oats above
  • 7 cups unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter Watch the ingredients! Just peanuts and salt would be great - no need for added oils or sugar. I get mine at Costco. If you are nut free you can use sunflower seed butter, or just leave it out
  • 1 cup avocado oil I get mine at Costco - THIS is a good one too. Or you can use melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw honey Local if possible! Or THIS is a good brand. This sounds like a lot of honey, but remember how big of a batch this is! If you are used to a much sweeter cereal you can use more – just remember you can always add a drizzle of honey to your bowl but you can’t take the honey out! You can taste the mixture for sweetness before you dehydrate
  • 3 TB cinnamon
  • 1 ½ TB almond extract vanilla extract works too
  • 1 ½ cups organic raisins I get mine at Costco
  • 5-6 small apples chopped (I buzz mine up quick in the food processor!)


  • The day or night before you want to get the granola in the dehydrator, put the oats and lemon juice along with enough water to cover the oats by an inch in a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl under the light in your oven for 8-12 hours – this soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the oats and makes them easier to digest. I like to soak them all day and that way I can dehydrate over night. It also works to soak overnight and get the granola in the dehydrator the next day.
  • After the soak, drain the oats in a strainer while you get the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl – I use my stock pot because there is a lot! It makes the mixing easier!
  • Add the strained oats to the mixture and combine well.
  • Spread out the granola onto your dehydrator trays and dehydrate between 110 degrees overnight about 8-10 hours. When it is done drying out you can break up the granola into the sized pieces you want. (Alternatively you can bake in the oven on baking sheets. About 300 degrees for an hour or so stirring occasionally until it is dried out.)

Did you grow up on cereal? Do you miss it?! Let me know if you give the granola a try – keep me posted how the kids like it!

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  • Reply Anna February 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I love cinnamon and to make a granola with it sounds awesome to me! Pinned too 🙂

  • Reply Jessica @ConveyAwareness February 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    This looks great Renee. I would love to find a granola that is nut free and no corn derivatives. How does your granola taste without the added nut butter (including the sun butter – we are not fans)? We are not a nut free family but I need to have nut free recipes for his school. Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Hey Jessica! Yes definitely leave out the nuts/nut butter – I put them in there for the added protein but have made granola without the nuts for sure.

  • Reply Raine Saunders February 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Looks delicious Renee! What a good alternative to boxed cereals for kiddos (and grownups!). I’d eat mine with yogurt or sour cream because that’s how I roll! 🙂

  • Reply Krystal February 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Oh Renee I am with you, I think the only meal I love more than breakfast is brunch! lol This granola looks just perfect for either. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Rama February 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    This is fabulous! We just got our dehydrator so I’m looking for more recipes to try. Yum!

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish February 17, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    This sounds so good! I wish I had some to snack on right now.

  • Reply Anna @Green Talk February 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Do I have to soak the sorghum too? This looks so yummy.

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Anna – from what I understand sorghum does not need to be soaked but you can if you want!

  • Reply karen February 17, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I make granola at home too but never soaked and dehydrated them! Makes sense though. Thx for the recipe!

  • Reply Megan Stevens February 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Love the texture of this. It looks wonderful!!

  • Reply Carol February 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for these ideas. Will get the ingredients together and try it out!!

  • Reply Chloe @ How We Flourish February 18, 2015 at 9:31 am

    This looks delicious! I love granola.

  • Reply Caryn February 19, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Could the coconut shreds and sorghum flour be substituted in this recipe? If so, do u know of good alternatives? Sounds tasty!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Hi Caryn – yes they can be subbed. What sort of things did you have in mind – gluten or grain free options? You can just use whatever other gluten free flour you like to use for the sorghum flour. Taking out the coconut shreds will change the texture a bit but you could just use more of a different flour. Does that help some?

  • Reply Kimber February 20, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Hi Renee! This looks great and I plan to try it! I just ordered sorghum grains from my co-op to try for the first time, I have a grain milk so will grind them into a flour. I noticed in an above comment that you think it’s not necessary to soak sorghum, can you tell me your thoughts/resources on this? I can’t find much online in relation to this specifically. It doesn’t bother me to soak the grain, dehydrate it, then grind it, because just like sprouting beans it’s mostly hands off work…but if it’s not nutritionally helpful I am happy not to do extra steps for sure! Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 20, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Hi Kimber – man that was a while ago reading that but I will see if I can find the source. If you feel better soaking/drying/grinding go for it! You could see how you feel consuming it without the extra steps too – we tolerate it well 😉

  • Reply Melissa February 20, 2015 at 11:07 am

    The only flours I have on hand to sub in for sorghum are coconut flour and almond flour, but I don’t want to dry it out too much. Should I just add the almond flour and skip adding an additional flour?

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Hi Melissa – you could do coconut flour just do half the amount. Or you could do almond flour at the full amount and it will be fine. Hope that helps – granola is pretty forgiving – you really can’t screw it up – play around with it 🙂

      • Reply Melissa February 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm

        Thank you! I’m excited to try this out! Love your site.

        • Reply Renee Kohley February 20, 2015 at 12:40 pm

          Thank you for your kind words Melissa!

  • Reply Caryn February 22, 2015 at 9:26 am

    That helps, Renee. Thanks! I just don’t have sorghum on hand. I’ll take into account the difference in texture without the coconut shreds. Someone in our house is picky about texture and coconut shreds just don’t fly.

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  • Reply Jessica Dyrmishi April 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    What other flour can I use with this? I have gluten free, coconut, brown rice, and tapioca. I cant find the listed flour locally.

    • Reply Jessica Dyrmishi April 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Never mind, I just saw your respond to another persons comment. Thank you.

      • Reply Renee Kohley April 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

        Hi Jessica! Ok great! Let me know if I can do anything else to help!

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  • Reply Amy September 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Would maple syrup work in place of the honey? My 2 year old can’t have honey due to allergies and I’ve been wanting to make this!

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  • Reply Soni Gupta September 4, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    This cereal looks and sounds amazing! Only thing is, I don’t own a dehydrator. Can I use something else instead? Can I put it in the oven? What temperature?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 9, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Hi Soni! Yes you can do the granola in the oven – just set it at a lower temperature. If you go as low as the oven will go it will take all day, and you will want to stir it around every hour-ish so it doesn’t burn and so that it can dry out. You could go a bit higher temp such as 250 degrees and it should take a few hours, but again still stir it around every 30 minutes-ish. I have found the texture to be lighter and crispier with a dehydrator versus an oven, so if it ends up being something you love to make, it would be a good investment for you!

  • Reply Amy July 11, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    My husband is deathly allergic to cinnamon (it’s been hard for me to give it up!!) and I don’t like shredded coconut. How do you think this would taste without these 2 ingredients? Anything to substitute instead?

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Amy! Yes, don’t add the cinnamon! Yikes! You could do almond extract for a different flavor, or use other warm spices like cardamom or cloves if he tolerates those. And instead of the coconut you could just add more oats or use some chopped nuts/seeds that you like.

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