Crunchy, chocolaty, healthy and quick, this easy coconut cacao granola is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free! Packed with natural chocolate and coconut flakes, this granola is perfect to prep at the beginning of your week to eat with breakfasts, snacks, smoothies--even dessert!
Hey Internet, are you ready for a ridiculously easy vegan granola recipe? How about one that tastes almost like candy, but without any junk in it?
This easy Easy Coconut Cacao Granola is so simple to make and delicious to eat as a part of your breakfast all week long! Chocolate for breakfast is an indulgence but it's made healthy in this recipe with zero refined sugar, and lots of healthy add-ins like nuts and seeds.
A few weeks ago I finished a bag of granola from the store. I was casually looking at the ingredients and noticed it had oil in it.
I guess it never occurred to me that you could make it without oil but I challenged myself to do so. One of my favorite things to sub for oil is nut/seed butter.
In sweet recipes I like to sub almond butter and in savory I like to sub tahini (you can mix and match too, and use other nut or seed butters). So I used almond butter for this recipe and threw in some of my favorite things like cacao nibs, coconut, pecans and pumpkin seeds… Paul and I ate the whole batch in 2 days ;)
So the next batch we doubled, and have been able to control ourselves a bit more--real talk: it’s hard though.
Once you learn how to make your own granola, you won’t want to go back to store-bought!
Anyway, this granola is super yummy and super easy, so let’s just get into the recipe.
What You’ll Need
Making your own granola is surprisingly easy, saves money, is better for the environment (no plastic!), and is super customizable! You just want to make sure you keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients similar (it’s about 1:2), and make sure you stir the granola halfway through baking so everything gets evenly cooked.
Let’s start with the basics. You’ll need rolled oats (sometimes called old fashioned oats), and make sure they’re certified gluten free if you can’t have gluten.
It’s optional, but I like adding a tiny pinch of salt to my oats as it really seems to enhance their flavor.
Maple syrup or agave is optional, but if you omit it, remember to up your nut or seed butter (or decrease dry ingredients) to keep the wet to dry ratio the same.
Cacao nibs can be a little bitter but since there’s maple syrup, they aren’t unpleasant. I like the chocolaty flavor – it gives the granola without adding in more sugar (like chocolate chips would).
But you can use chocolate chips if you like--they melt a lot easier because of the lecithin, too).
The unsweetened coconut flakes add a really nice texture to the granola. Of course I also love the flavor. This combination is like a mounds bar or something.
I added a bit of vanilla and coconut extracts to this too and I really like the extra punch it packs!
Play around with the add-ins, spices (mmm cinnamon), etc. After baking, you could even add dried fruit like dates, raisins, cranberries, banana chips, etc. So many possibilities!
How to Make My Easy Coconut Cacao Granola
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (162 degrees C) and line a half sheet baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
I highly recommend using a silicone baking mat on a half sheet tray. It helps crisp up the bottom plus it’s reusable so it will save you money in the long run.
We didn’t use it in the photos because honestly it looked prettier to use parchment, haha, but I usually use silicone mats for everything.
Mix together the wet ingredients in a large bowl, then add in your oats and salt if using and stir until they are all coated.
Add the rest of your dry ingredients except coconut (it burns faster so we’ll add it later) and stir well. If you are adding dried fruit, wait until after baking.
Transfer the mixture onto the baking sheet, flattening out the mixture and spreading it evenly across the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir. Add the coconut flakes and stir once more.
Now bake for 5-15 more minutes (depending on what ingredients you use–if you follow this recipe exactly I would do 10 more minutes depending on how hot your oven runs. Keep checking it to ensure nothing burns).
Let cool, then store in an airtight container for 7-10 days (if it lasts that long!). I like to store mine in a large jar, and just pour it onto my breakfast each day. If you have a wide mouth jar, it’s easier to reach in and grab some granola to snack on--maybe too easy?
What to Eat with Granola
I love to snack on this easy coconut cacao granola just as is, but it’s seriously my favorite breakfast right now to add it to a bowl of yogurt and fruit!
It’s also really good sprinkled on top of oatmeal, a smoothie bowl, or even just a smoothie for a little texture and something special.
If you want to eat it like cereal, just add it to a bowl and top with your favorite plant based milk.
This granola would be extra healthy and yummy to eat with any of my delicious chia pudding recipes, including pina colada, chili mango lime, chocolate peanut butter banana, chocolate strawberry, lemon blueberry, and more!
One more suggestion: eat it on top of nice cream! It’s the best topping for smooth, creamy, delicious refreshing nice cream!
My current recorded nice cream recipes include:
And last but not least, Lavender Nice Cream!
Other Easy Breakfasts
Breakfast is one of those meals I really don’t like to cook for. Unless we’re talking brunch, and I’m making something fancy (but still pretty easy) like Vegan Tofu Eggs Benedict, I want it to be fast and stupid-easy, like one of the following:
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This Easy Coconut Cacao Granola is:
- And awesome for meal prep to have your breakfasts figured out all week! It makes good vegan hiking food, too!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!