Crunchy triple seed granola without refined sugar or oil – made with medjool dates, almond butter, oats, cinnamon, and a mix of hemp, pumpkin, and flax seeds!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY NATURAL DELIGHTS.
The number of times I’ve told people that title is not possible. That dates won’t work for granola. That you need a syrup or sugar to avoid creating mush-nola.
That using an odd number of seeds is bad luck. But I have to tell you – you my lovely blog commenters, Instagram messagers, diehard date-sweeteners, crunchy granola-loving readers – I was wrong.
And THANK GOODNESS.
Sometimes even when logic/facts/past experience tell me something won’t work, I still have to try it anyways. Like carrying 27 bags of groceries from my car to my apartment. Or tossing my socks into the washer from half a room away. Or sharing a pint of ice cream. Or leaving for the yoga class that starts in 7 minutes when the studio is 10 minutes away. Deep down I am still that six year old who had to touch the pot on the stove for myself to find out it was really hot. Because every once in a while the sock does make it in, and that 2% chance keeps me trying all the other times.
Maybe you relate to this stubborn, irrational optimism. But relate or not, it is why this granola came to be. I know you can’t make date paste without water. I know water is not a good ingredient for granola. But I tried anyways. And with some bake time/temperature tweaking, and the grace of the granola gods on my side…IT WORKED. It actually really deliciously worked. Never give up on your dreams, kids.
This recipe is sweetened with only medjool dates. And this recipes is oil-free. But this recipe is not the quickest granola recipe ever. There is nothing 5-minutes-set-it-and-forget-it about this recipe. Add an extra 40 to that and some stirring TLC though, and you will have the scrumptious, clustery, refined sugar-free granola of your smoothie bowl topping dreams.
For this granola, you’re gonna need:
- Medjool dates. Obviously. And obviously I am using the sweet and always squishy-fresh ones from Natural Delights, my favorite. They do need to be fairly soft for this recipe, so soak if necessary.
- Water. Because dates aren’t going to turn into paste all by themselves.
- Almond butter. Or any nut/seed butter, but this is very necessary for crunch factor. I tested with both 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup and both are crunchy, but of course more = yummier.
- Vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
- Rolled oats. You could try it with quinoa flakes too if oats aren’t your jam. Haven’t tried it, just an idea.
- Seeds. I used a mix of hemp, pumpkin, and flax seeds. You could switch it up with chia seeds or sesame seeds or sunflower seeds. Nuts are a-okay too.
Blend. Mix. Spread. Bake. Stir. Bake. Stir. Bake. Stir. EAT!
What kind of granola eater are you: Snack dry by the handful? In a bowl with berries, milk, spoon, the whole cereal setup? On top of yogurt? On top of smoothie bowls? On top of froyo (hi, hello, YUM!) Other…?
I’d love to know. And lemme know what you think of this date-sweetened version too, either below or on Instagram.
So I stand corrected – date sweetened granola is in fact very possible. But I know you forgive me because granola people are good-hearted people ♥
Date-Sweetened 3 Seed Granola
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Category: snack
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: american
Crunchy triple seed granola without refined sugar or oil – made with medjool dates, almond butter, oats, cinnamon, and a mix of hemp, pumpkin, and flax seeds!
- 10–12 pitted (200g) medjool dates (*)
- 1/2 cup (110g) water
- 1/4–1/2 cup (65-130g) almond butter (**)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups (250g) rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (65g) hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup (75g) pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup (65g) flax seeds
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- In a high speed blender, combine the medjool dates, water, almond butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
- Blend until smooth and thick. If it’s a little chunky that’s okay, but do not add more water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and seeds.
- Add the date mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until evenly coated.
- Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper. Spread out the granola evenly between the pans.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 300F. Stir moving the outside bits to the inside and vice versa.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes checking and stirring every 10 minutes so the edges don’t burn. It should be golden and dry/crisp when done.
- Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes. It will get crispier as it cools.
- Store in an airtight container or jar.
*They should be quite squishy/soft, if not soak them for 30 minutes first. **More is yummier, but it will be crunchy and delicious either way! You can sub any nut/seed butter.
Keywords: snack, breakfast, vegan, gluten-free, oat, sugar free
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Thank you Natural Delights for sponsoring this post!
Yummyyyy! The date & nut butter combo is so perfect for so many different applications (pecan butter stuffed dates are my fave snack ever!), and leave it to you to create some fabulous granola with these ingredients. I actually have a oil free, date sweetened granola recipe on my blog, but I need to remake it using your temperature and time suggestions, because the last few times I made it the crunch-level wasn’t quite there 😉 I’m the worst at keeping track of how long something is in the oven, which is why I make so many no-bake treats! Also, doesn’t help having a way-too-hot electric oven that burns everything and cooks unevenly – very not ideal for granola 🙁
Pecan butter stuffed dates–um hello NEED TO TRY combo! I’ve done pb and almond butter in dates, but never pecans and I have a feeling those toasty little guys make for a marvelous butter😋 Yes the crunch factor is so tricky once you introduce fruit into the mix, but longer and lower totally works! Ha I’ve finally gotten pretty good about writing down my recipes as I go, but I have many a time had to remake something just because I can’t remember how long I baked it😆 Omg have you ever seen those people that do granola over a campfire? Craziness! Anyways, thanks Ashley😊
Caroline | Unsweetened Caroline says
I am definitely the same kind of stubborn! I’m happy this lead to a date-sweetened granola though. I am making this next week and I will enjoy granola for the first time in 3 1/2 years… And it will mostly be eaten by the handful. 😉
Haha I’m glad you can relate not the stubborn-ness, there are certainly some pros to it too though. Omg that is WAY too long without the crunchy topping stuff in your life…gah I’m legit excited for you🤗🤗
I’ve been wanting to try date sweetened granola for a while, my hubby doesn’t eat any refined sugars or cooked oils.
I make a granola with pb and some maple syrup…hubby doesn’t eat it, which means it’s all for me!
So happy you came up with a recipe so I don’t have to try 😆
Can’t wait to make it this weekend!!
Mmm but peanut butter maple syrup granola is SO good too! I’ve made that combo before…lucky you😋😋 This one would be yummy with peanut butter as well. I hope you try it out and you and your husband both approve!
Good Thursday, I’m interested in trying this recipe, but could you tell me the nutrition info please? Thanks in advance for your help, Anna
I don’t have it calculated for this one, but you can plug in all the ingredients here to find out: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator
Made the granola and it was delicious 😋 this is my go to granola from now on!!
Woohoo! That is what I like to hear, I am so happy you liked it Daria🤗
Would I have to soak the dates before blending?
Only if they are really dry/hard. I did not need to as mine were nice and fresh. But it doesn’t hurt as long as you drain them well so there’s not to much extra water🙂
So excited to finally have a healthy granola recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
Woohoo! Hope you love it Amy, can’t wait to hear how it goes🙂
Wow this looks amazing!
Do you know how many portions you have with the whole batch? 😘
Hmm it makes about 4 cups, so I’d say that’s at least 8 servings–depends on how much you eat at one time😆
I would say for me a serving is 30g?
Thanks for the reply!
I didn’t weight it post baking so I can’t really give you an exact answer, sorry! I think that’s the best estimate I can give 🙂
Anyone try this with raisins instead of dates ? I have raisins and not dates is the origin of my question.
Raisins will work! Just a different more fruity flavor 🙂
Dr. Sherri says
What is your suggestion for making this grain free? Thank you for all your fab recipes!
So I haven’t tried it grain-free, but what I would recommend is replacing the oats with a mix of nuts and shredded coconut and maybe using more of each type of seed. You will need 4 cups total of dry ingredients, so just use whatever ratio you want of nuts, seeds, and coconut. My only concern is those ingredients may cook faster than oats do and burn more easily so watch it very carefully. I will hopefully try it soon and let you know if I do!
Dr. Sherri says
Thank you Natalie! will try your suggestion….and watch the cooking time;)
I have been making date sweetened granola for about 2 Years now. Yes it requires lots of stirring :). Never thought to add the almond butter. Will try next time!!
And you didn’t share your low and slow, baking and stirring secrets with me all that time? Haha! Yes definitely try the almond butter. Helps with crispness, but also just tastes so yummy😋
Sharvari Pendharkar says
Wow, I love all your great recipes! They really make me go out of my comfort zone and try something new. I really enjoy all the vegan recipes because it makes me realise how many things can be cooked vegan. Thanks so much!! I love you!! 🙂
That’s what I’m here for–to nudge you just a little towards deliciously although slightly different than the usual things😊 I am so happy you are enjoying the recipes, thank YOU❤️
I’m a big fan!!! Yay for the only date sweetened granola I could find hehe do u think that the flax seeds should be grounded first? Because I read that if it’s eaten as a whole then our body will not absorb it’s nutrients… and it will also come out whole 😆
Yes, I suppose grinding them would be ideal for digestibility and nutrient absorption. I really love the texture whole, but ground is a great idea and will work too. Hope you enjoy!
This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you very much!! So excited to try it.
My question is, do you store it in or out of the fridge? And how long does it last? Thanks in advance!
Woohoo! I can’t wait for you to try it 🙂 I recommend storing it at room temp in either an airtight container or jar. So far mine is about a week old and still delicious and crunchy, so I can’t say for sure yet but I would estimate at least a couple of weeks.
Nisha / RainbowPlantLife says
I empathize with the irrational optimism so much! I just came home from a Trader Joe’s AND Whole Foods run and convinced myself I could take the subway with four heavy paper bags. My arms are so sore now lol. I had some mediocre granola today for breakfast, which makes me want to have this granola even more!
Hahaha! Yep that totally sounds like something I would do too😂 And I thought the one flight of stairs to my apartment was rough. Thanks for reading Nisha, and cheers to the weekend and hopefully better breakfasts!
I just HAD TO read the story behind the never-imagined-to-become-true-wonder !! and I have to say, oooooo, I knew it was possible 😋 the water that’s going in is bound to come out at some point😆 ……………I just have never had the patience and mindset to actually do the doing and figuring out part 😆 😋 …………………I love granola, and appreciate granola when it’s ready and done, but never actually need it SO much that I’m willing to put so much energy into it….. 😊 that’s why I admire you SO DAMN MUCH ….!! !! !!! well, oooonly ONE of the contlessmany reasons….😊❤️
and ooohhyea, I absolutely do relate to that irrationally stubborn optimism of the 6year old, and do find it surprisingly familiar 😆
and you can consider this granola definitely made and freakin loved ..!! just like the …….98-99% of everything you’ve shared 😊❤️
Reading you is just as wondorous as watching ❤️
Yes scientifically it all makes sense with baking and evaporation and stuff, I guess i just never ventured to try it until now either. I don’t make granola often either, plus there are so many awesome store-bought ones out there these days tbh, but every time I do I remember how wonderful it is homemade and tell myself I should make it more (and then forget again a few months later usually😆) Hehe I’m happy you could relate a bit on the stubbornness part too, I guess we could call it perseverance…sounds nicer that way😊 I hope you love every crunchy bite, happy weekend❤️
The Vegan 8 says
I am dying laughing at this post! I relate so much it’s scary. I say to myself basically DAILY that when it’s time to get up (too early I might add) to get Olivia up to get her ready for school, each day I say while I’m half asleep…”just a few minutes longer and I’ll just rush and it’ll be fine”. Every freaking day I have this convo in my mind as I hit snooze repeatedly on my phone and yes, while she does get there on time each day, the chaos and speedy gonzales rushing each morning is anything but fun. I also do this with a billion other things so I can totally relate, but I guess I love the rush or challenge of accomplishing the ridiculous…or the impossible, just like you finally did with this granola!! And accomplish, you did, because it definitely looks so crunchy and clumpy and all the things you want in granola. That nut butter is a wonderful contributor as well. I have never made a granola without nut butter because to me, it gives such a wonderful added crunch and depth of flavor that would seriously be lacking otherwise. I can see that the date version requires much longer baking time, but when you end up with this perfect result and a completely healthy satisfying granola in the end, it’s totally worth it! I love that you went to town on all the seeds too. YUM!
Omg yes! The snooze button is another perfect example, how could I forget that I do the same thing. I tried setting mine earlier to accommodate for the fact that I KNOW i will talk myself into lying in bed for at least another 10 minutes but I think it just made it worse because now I know I can😆 As long as she still gets there on time that’s the important thing, but definitely doesn’t help with starting off the day on a calm zen note. But when it comes to recipes you have posted MANY that I would never thought was possible (hello somehow low fat but the best gingerbread cake), so don’t ever lose the impossible…HA! attitude in that respect😊 Not even considering the health aspect, granola with nut butter is SO much yummier than oil if you ask me! Totally agree, it’s key😋 Even I can be patient every now and again. Happy monday Brandi and thanks for sharing those cute little muffins on IG!
Annelina Waller says
Oh heeellooo love, this recipe is amazing. I haven’t thought of a syrup free and oil-free granola recipe either. I love the almond butter and dates in here a lot. This inspired me for sure. Just made one with coconut cream, which turned out amazing. Much love
Coconut cream in granola??😱 Like from a can of coconut milk–that’s an amazing idea! And totally delicious I bet too. I hope you share it soon. It’s fun to push the usual maple syrup + coconut oil bounds a bit🤗 Thanks dear! xo
Praise the granola gods (and you)! 😂😂 I remember trying to make a date sweetened granola a long time ago and it was an epic fail! Haha! So thank you for creating this! I have all of the ingredients on hand and this sounds like the perfect way to reintroduce oats…although I don’t trust myself to stop at just a little sample 😉 I was always a snack by the handful granola kind of girl, but I also loved sprinkling some on top of my smoothies/smoothie bowls. Yum! Can’t wait to try!! Also, I totally relate to your stubborn irrational optimism 🤗 especially the sharing a pint of ice cream 😆 Hope you have a great weekend, Natalie! ❤️
I don’t know if your body will agree or not, but I for one certainly think in the form of a crunchy date-sweetened cluster is the IDEAL way to try adding oats back into your life🤗 Ooooh I’m so so excited for you and have all my fingers and toes crossed (plus whoever’s fingers these are too lol🤞🤞) Haha thanks for relating–I mean if I wanted to share I would’ve bought the half gallon😆 Happy weekend to you too my dear💖
Natalie!!! We just got done munching on some of this and it’s sooooooooo good!! 😍😋 I had maybe 1/8-1/4 cups worth and I’m letting my system settle to see if oats and I have rekindled our friendship 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 We used 1/4 cup of almond butter and 1/4 cup of tahini (I chose to go heavier on the butters since you said it was yummier). Since I know willow can be finicky with seeds/nuts in her granola, I used chia seeds instead of pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips found their way in this batch – not sure how that happened 😉 Love the crunch and flavors and that it’s not overly sweet…that is until you get a cluster with chocolate! Definitely keeping this in our rotation! Thumbs up from my little family ❤️❤️❤️
Eeeeep! I am so so excited to hear how mission Mandy + Oats goes🤗 Oooh I bet tahini is extra yummy in there too, I’ve grown to like tahini more but I still forget about it most of the time. And with chocolate chips too I think you created an entirely different but very delicious tahini chocolate chip flavor that now I need to try! I imagine with the chocolates chips you could even get away with less dates…but then again why😉 Thanks for trying it and the amazing feedback as always❤️ xo
Siobhan Schneidman says
I live in LA and I usually shop at a grocery store that has date paste! Its the best, I use it for EVERYTHING. Anyway, any suggestions on how to convert your measurements to that of already made date paste?