Coconut-Almond Granola with Candied Cocoa Nibs Gluten-Free Recipe

We’ve tried a lot of granola, and this gluten free granola recipe one by famed chef Michelle Polzine of San Francisco’s James Beard-nominated 20th Century Cafe beats ‘em all. Seriously. Try it once and it’ll be your new favorite to eat and gift.

Coconut-Almond Granola with Candied Cocoa Nibs Gluten-Free Recipe

The delicious, natural bitterness of cocoa nibs is sweetly contrasted by maple syrup, making this a perfect mix-in to Coconut Almond Granola or a topping for ice cream. The granola will keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 month—if it lasts that long.

Servings 4 Cups
Author Michelle Polzine


For the Granola:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Grade B (or Grade A) maple syrup

For the Candied Cocoa Nibs (Makes 1/4 cup):

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
  • Kosher salt


  1. Make the Granola: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the almonds in one layer in a baking pan and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, 4 minutes. Add the coconut chips and bake until both are lightly browned, 3 to 6 minutes more. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, coriander seed, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, then add the maple syrup. If the liquid seizes up, heat it for 1 minute to liquify again. Pour the mixture onto the oat mixture, then stir to evenly coat.
  4. Turn the oven down to 250°F. Transfer the toasted nuts and coconut to a large bowl, add the Candied Cocoa Nibs, and set aside.
  5. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the coated oat mixture out in the pan, and pat it down with your hands to make an even layer of granola that nearly covers the pan.
  6. Bake the granola, without stirring, until golden and toasted and the oats are slightly crispy rather than chewy, 60 to 70 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes. Let cool.

  7. Meanwhile, make the Cocoa Nibs: In a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the syrup. Add the nibs and a pinch of salt, then stir constantly until the syrup clings to the nibs, and the bottom of the pan is dry. Spread out the nibs on a plate to cool. If they’re sticky, set them on top of a warm oven to dry out.

  8. Break the granola into clusters and add them to the bowl with the almonds, coconut, and cocoa nibs. Enjoy.

Photography Emma K. Morris

2 Comments on “Coconut-Almond Granola with Candied Cocoa Nibs Gluten-Free Recipe”

  1. Good question! There are lots of recipes for paleo granola out there, many of which focus on nuts (sliced almonds, pecan pieces, etc) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc) rather than oats. I’m confident this would work but you’d likely need less of the oil and syrup. Still, I have a hunch it would be amazing! Let me know how it goes!

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