Nutty, Nutty Granola

January 30, 2014

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A breakfast recipe for many whose dietary restrictions make it tough to find one.

Granola from Food52

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There’s one in every family these days. The intolerant person. I don’t mean religiously intolerant or xenophobic, though there’s probably one of those in every family too, come to think of it. I mean gluten intolerant. Or dairy, or soy, or one of the many other food intolerances that have become so common of late. It’s maddening. And I say that as someone who has her own set of weird food intolerances that I’m sure drive others slightly crazy -- I drive myself slightly crazy! Once, I helped cook for a dinner party at which the combined guests managed to have amongst us intolerances to: gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, nuts, corn, and oats. AND there was one person who kept Kosher and another who was a vegetarian! We had to cook a couple separate meals to make it work.  

I won’t speculate about the root cause of the increase in food intolerances. Many far better scientists than I (I’m really not a very good scientist at all, actually) are working on that question. I’ll just try to cook around it!  

Anyway, my dad is one of those people who is stuck with an intolerance to almost everything. He can’t have any grains at all, nor dairy, nor soy, nor potatoes, nor (gasp) eggs! This makes breakfast, at least the way most of us from the West conceive of it, a real challenge. Last year, I decided I was going to come up with a whole bunch of breakfast ideas to send to him because I am a good and caring daughter, and I also get very concerned when I think someone may not be able to enjoy breakfast. In my searching, in addition to all sorts of lovely Asian breakfasts of soups and fish, I also came across a couple recipes for granola that were made with all nuts and no grains. Intriguing.

I decided to have a go and discovered, with or without an intolerance, I actually liked the all-nut version of granola better than any traditional versions I’ve had! Unsurprisingly, the granola, once tossed in its honeyed butter coating and baked until brown and toasty, tastes, in a word, nutty. Wonderfully so. It tastes like granola, but richer, more toothsome. Even if you are a devoted eater of oaty granola, I’d say nutty granola is worth a try. Of course, if your intolerance happens to be to nuts, then this is not a breakfast for you. I hope you can eat eggs.

Granola from Food52

Nutty, Nutty Granola 

Makes 4 to 4 1/2 cups 

1 cup raw pecans (or walnuts)
1 cup raw pistachios (or almonds)
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Emily Vikre

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.

1 Comment

bugawa March 28, 2015
Emily, you are a genius-- I LOVE this granola!! I first made it when I was doing a cleanse with my husband about a month ago and have made it (w/variations) so many times now...eaten w/homemade almond milk, my husband, kiddos, and I think it rocks! It's a regular part of our diet and fits my paleo-leaning lifestyle perfectly. THANK YOU so much for sharing ;-)