Foodist Approved: Nutty Sunrise Granola

by | Sep 18, 2013
Nutty Sunrise Granola

Nutty Sunrise Granola

Big news!

I’m thrilled to announce that Elyse Kopecky has officially joined the Summer Tomato team as our new recipe developer. Elyse is a whole foods chef and marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon, who studied health-supportive culinary arts at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York.

Elyse Kopecky

Elyse Kopecky

Since the launch of Foodist I’ve been looking for new ways to grow and improve Summer Tomato, and thousands of you have made it clear that you want more Foodist Approved recipes. Elyse’s fabulous creations are the perfect mix of seasonal, nutritious and delicious, and are designed to be both simple enough to fit into your life and fun enough to keep you cooking.

You can expect new recipes from Elyse every other Wednesday, and your feedback is always welcome. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at and on Twitter @freshabits.


Bon appétit! 


Foodist Approved: Nutty Sunrise Granola 

by Elyse Kopecky

The food industry knows that very few of us have time to cook a nutritious breakfast, that’s why the cereal aisle runs the length of the grocery store. But any breakfast that you rip out of a package or grab from the glass counter at your go-to coffee joint probably has few redeeming nutritious qualities.

Even those fancy bags of “high-fiber,” “high-protein,” “whole-grain” granola that cost as much as a bottle of wine are full of ingredients that lack true sustenance. Often they have lots of added sugar marketed as “organic cane sugar” or “evaporated cane juice,” which is just a fancy (and deceptive) way of saying white sugar––the last thing we should be feeding our bodies first thing in the morning.

Here’s some good news.

Homemade granola is seriously easy to make and is a fabulous healthy breakfast option. I’ve baked many batches (enough to last me the year) to perfect this recipe, which is packed full of protein, loaded in omega-3s and balanced with whole grains. Of course it’s also full of nutty, cinnamon-y flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.

For the sweetener, I use brown rice syrup because it’s minimally processed and has a low glycemic index. Its consistency makes the oats and quinoa extra crunchy, which allows us to use less oil.

For an awesome weekday breakfast I suggest my Nutty Sunrise Granola sprinkled atop whole milk organic yogurt and chopped fresh fruit. Or enjoy it with unsweetened almond or hemp milk. And on those days when you’re rushing out that door, grab a small bag of granola to munch on at your desk.

Nutty mornings now won’t seem quite so bad!

Nutty Sunrise Granola Recipe

Yield: 6 cups

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (sold in the health-food aisle)
  • ¼ cup ground flax, or chia seeds or sesame seeds
  • ½ cup date pieces or goji berries
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oats, quinoa flakes, ground flax, date pieces, coconut flakes and nuts in a large mixing bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and brown rice syrup.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until evenly coated.

Spread out the mix in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent the nuts from burning. To maintain the crunch let cool completely before storing in a glass jar.

Elyse Kopecky is a social media consultant and whole foods chef based in Portland, OR. After 10 years working for NIKE and EA SPORTS she left her desk job for the chance to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at and @freshabits.


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38 Responses to “Foodist Approved: Nutty Sunrise Granola”

  1. Buttercup says:

    2 eggs = not vegan, right?

  2. MeLisa says:

    I see that it makes 6 cups, but what is a recommended serving to eat for breakfast (either with almond milk or on top of yogurt)?

  3. Meredith says:

    I love that you’ve hired Elyse, I can’t wait for more recipes!

  4. BarbBT says:

    Can you give the nutritional information for this recipe? Curious to know calories, fat, carbs, sugar, protein, etc.

    Thanks so much. The recipe sounds delicious!

  5. Shaun Kane says:

    Is other a way to make this a little more chunky for eating on the go? Specifically, for car eating?

    • Hi Shaun,
      Yes! For snack time “granola” bars line a glass baking dish with parchment paper and press the granola mixture into the form of the dish. Then don’t stir while baking but keep an eye on it as cooking time will vary. Also adding a 1/4 cup of honey will help with chunkier granola! Elyse

  6. Luc says:

    Would agave be a good substitute for Brown Rice Syrup? Definitely making this tonight.

    • Hi Luc,
      I haven’t tried it with agave yet but honey is a great substitute. Agave isn’t as thick of a sweetener so it won’t make the granola as crunchy. Agave and honey are both sweeter then brown rice syrup so you could cut back on the amount.

  7. Sarah says:

    Curious if I’m supposed to measure the dates & nuts before chopping or if these are the chopped measurements? You can fit a lot more little bits in a cup, so it could make a big difference!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Good question. I used dates and walnuts that were already chopped. In the bulk food aisle you can find “date pieces” which are chopped and coated in rice flour to prevent sticking.

  8. Aleta says:

    Could you substitute honey or agave nectar for the sweetener?
    Sounds like a wonderful recipe. I hope to try it soon.

    • Hi Aleta,
      I’ve tried it with honey and it turned out delicious! Honey is sweeter than brown rice syrup so you could cut the amount in half. Unless you prefer a sweet granola. For breakfast I always prefer less sugar.

  9. Charles says:

    Wow, eye opener. I just checked my ‘healthy’ granola and sure enough….not healthy. Definitely going to try this receipt tonight. Thank you!

  10. Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! What’s the shelf life of this recipe? I’m not sure how long homemade granola lasts :(.

    • CreLa says:

      Yes was also thinking this looked great, but wondering what the shelf life of granola w/ 2 eggs in it would be compared to the vegan version?

      • This is a dry granola so there’s no need to refrigerate. It should stay good for up to a month in an airtight container. The sweetener, salt and cinnamon also act as a natural preservative. Ground flax can go rancid so that you will want to store in the fridge until you use it up.

  11. Caren says:

    Just made this granola and like that it is not too sweet, It is going to be a regular for breakfast mixed with yogurt.

  12. megan says:

    I can’t find quinoa flakes at my health food store. Any good substitutes?

    • Hi Megan,
      Before I discovered quinoa flakes I used regular, uncooked quinoa. It doesn’t blend in as well but gets nice and crunchy. Quinoa should always be rinsed so just drain throughly and keep the rest of the recipe the same.


  13. Todd says:

    I love this recipe! Making more this weekend to last me through the week. Once you have the granola made, it makes for such a quick breakfast with yogurt and peach slices.

  14. Todd says:

    I love this recipe! Making more this weekend to last me through the week. Once you have the granola made, it makes for such a quick breakfast with yogurt and peach slices.

  15. Genevieve says:

    I have made the recipe three times, and I strongly recommend checking and stirring in 5 min increments, as mine is usually quite crisp after only 15-20 min. I also like halving the amount of salt and substituting maple syrup or honey for the sweetener and adding a second dried fruit!

  16. Jeroen says:

    Is there a reason that you recommend whole milk organic yogurt over fat free yogurt? I’m trying to lose weight and have therefore been buying fat free yogurt. Would love to hear your feedback.

  17. Amy says:

    Just joined and am going through some of your recipes. This sounds delicious. Would this be a good breakfast to help lower cholesterol? Mine’s a little high and I’m trying to find healthy options to get it back down again – so any tips you have would be great!

  18. Kiran says:

    Hi is it possible for me to just use 1/4 cup of sunflower oil to replace 2 eggs ….

  19. Sonia Cacique says:

    Any chance you can provide an alternative to the brown rice syrup? To make it an unsweetened version?

  20. laurie says:

    Some of the quantities of ingredients on this recipe have changed to “A?”, could you please update? The seeds and nuts may be easier to guess, but the salt and brown rice syrup quantities I imagine will change the flavor and crispness when baking. Thanks!!

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