Chocolate Cherry Grain-Free Granola – Guest Post from A Nourished Appetite

I’m super excited to have my good friend Natalie of A Nourished Appetite share a recipe with you guys today. She makes THE BEST food. Seriously! If you guys like my recipes, just wait til you try hers. Since moving back to southern California, I’ve actually gotten to hang out with Natalie in person a few times which of course means eating lots of yummy food together. And I’ve had the amazing pleasure of trying this delicious Chocolate Cherry Grain-Free Granola. She gave me a jar of it a while back and I ate it all way quicker than I’d like to admit. But once you try this I’m sure you won’t blame me. I’ll turn it over to Natalie now…

Chocolate Cherry Grain-Free Granola - Guest Post from | #Paleo #glutenfree

The first time I made this recipe I burnt it, like bits of charred fruits, nuts and seeds, set off the smoke alarm, BURNT it!  I was disappointed and the dogs were pissed.  That damn smoke alarm interrupted their fifteenth nap of the day. But as they say, every failure is a learning experience.  What I learned from this recipe failure was that my dogs hate smoke alarms and I love burnt grain-free granola!  The dates, I used dates in the first version, and the cherries became like charcoaled bits of delight.  Some of the bits of dates were actually so hard that I was worried about the state of my molars. Despite my concern I happily munched on. So what I am trying to tell you is….I ate it ALL and thoroughly enjoyed it, then set about perfecting it so that such mistakes would not occur again. Even though I found them to be delicious.

People often ask me what inspires my recipes.  I wish I had an amazing story of growing up, cooking with my grandmother and trying to recreate recipes passed down to her through generations.  Although my grandma did make a killer peach cobbler, canned her own fruits and veggies and made the most amazing strawberry jam, but my recipes rarely have a storyline. Most of them are flat out accidents, like this one.  I was trying to put groceries away, realizing I had little pantry space as bags of nuts, seeds and dried fruit were landing on my head!  Once I regained my wits, managed to wrestle a bag of dried cherries from my dog and cleaned up the pecan pieces that had rained down all over my kitchen floor, I realized I may have the making of a delicious grain-free granola.  Plus I had a Chocolate Cherry Chia Seed Pudding sitting in my fridge, what a perfect combination!

I say this about every one of my recipes, and I believe it to be true about each and every one, but this stuff is SO tasty!  I made it with the goal of creating an easy snack, a topping for some delicious homemade puddings, plain yogurts from a grass-fed source, or even ice cream.  It is all of that and more.  Pour yourself a heaping pile and drown it in coconut milk as well.  You will not regret it!

Chocolate Cherry Grain-Free Granola - Guest Post from | #Paleo #glutenfree

Chocolate Cherry Grain-Free Granola - Guest Post from A Nourished Appetite
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes 3 cups
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp flax
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 14 cup cacao nibs or mini-chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325, use middle rack
  2. In food processor, pulse walnuts, pecans and macadamia nuts, about 30 seconds
  3. Pour mixture in bowl, add chia, flax seeds and shredded coconut
  4. Add salt and cinnamon and stir to combine
  5. In small sauce pan melt coconut oil and honey, add vanilla
  6. Add to nut mixture and stir well
  7. Place an even layer on parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, stir and bake an additional 10 minutes
  9. Stir again, increase heat to 350 add dried cherries and bake for about 5 minutes
  10. Remove from oven when granola is browned to your perfection (or blackened like I like it!)
  11. Stir in cacao nibs and let cool completely

To a nourished life,