Soaked Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola (nut-free, oat-free, no-bake)
This easy Soaked Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola is nut-free, oat-free, sugar-free, and soaked to reduce phytic acid. Plus, it’s a no-bake granola recipe that will remind you of the convenience of breakfast cereal, but this granola is packed with complex carbs and healthy fats!
A Real Food lifestyle means we don’t fall for things like expensive boxes of sugary cereals or even fancy (still sugary) granolas, right?
But… but… CEREAL IS SOOOOO CONVENIENT!
I mean, how easy is it to pour a bowl of cereal, add milk, and chill for breakfast? For busy mornings, lazy Saturday mornings, late-night snacking, quick kids’ snacks, and more… let’s be honest here: CEREAL WINS.
Still, even with all its convenience, I just can’t bring myself to spend too much on a box that’s full of empty carbs, processed grains, unsoaked nuts or seeds, and sugar.
Truthfully, bowls of cereal for breakfast are the ticket to a blood sugar crash around 9:00 a.m. No fun. And definitely not a great idea for littles who need to make it through a morning at school.
I also don’t enjoy making typical granola recipes because, they too, end up being full of high-carb grains and sugar and require a lot of work.
So what’s a girl to do when she wakes up jonesing for a bowl of cereal?!
It took me 3 days to figure it out…
But by golly, I made myself some cereal. Or rather, some No-Bake Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola that’s nut-free, oat-free, sugar-free, and prepared with a traditional soaking to reduce phytic acid.
My bowl of cereal had some pretty tough criteria to meet:
- No gluten or high-glycemic grains — including oats, which are in most cereals and granola recipes
- No nuts — I’m not allergic to nuts, but I know lots of you are and that makes most Paleo granola recipes a no-no for you.
- I did not want to heat up my house or spend hours stirring granola in the oven.
- No sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc., of course.
- High protein, high-fat, lower-carb (This recipe is NOT ketogenic or low-carb, however it is NOT high-glycemic either.)
- No dried fruit (because dried fruits are a tiny package that pack a LOT of fructose, and fructose = high-glycemic carbs.)
A quick note about quinoa… I simply cannot eat no-carb or ketogenic.
Due to past hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue (which are both healed!), my body NEEDS low-glycemic carb sources, like quinoa, sprouted brown rice, wild rice, and sweet potatoes. However, because this recipe is high in beneficial fat (coconut oil) and contains no sugar (thanks to Dietz Sweet), it does not affect my blood sugar negatively at all! If you prefer to use a whole sweetener, substitute an equal amount of coconut sugar.
This recipe takes some time due to the soaking/dehydrating phase for the quinoa, but it is worth it! It’s mostly hands-off time!
How to Make Soaked Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola
Bear with me, Momma. This may seem like a complicated recipe, but I promise, it’s not. It takes a little time because of the soaking and dehydrating, but most of that is hands-off — not hands-on.
So, first, soak the quinoa. Then, cook it. I like to use my Instant Pot (here’s how). Comes out perfect every time.
Once it’s cooked, you have to dry it out. You can use your oven on a low temperature; just be sure to watch it carefully. I prefer to use my dehydrator since I know it won’t continue cooking the quinoa.
Once the quinoa is cooked and dry, you can make the rest of this no-bake granola in a snap!
First, toast the shredded coconut in a dry cast iron skillet. (<– Save 10% on my favorite shredded coconut with my discount code NOURISHING.)
When the coconut is toasted, you can combine the remaining ingredients, mix, and serve!
Save 10% on shredded coconut, coconut oil, cacao nibs, and soaked/dehydrated pumpkin seeds with my discount code NOURISHING!
This makes a large batch of granola that you can store in glass jars or in a zip-top bag in your pantry.
It’s perfect for serving with raw milk or your favorite dairy-free milk, on top of yogurt or pudding, or in a lunchbox!
Soaked Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola (nut-free, oat-free, no-bake)
This easy Soaked Chocolate-Orange Quinoa Granola is nut-free, oat-free, sugar-free, and soaked to reduce phytic acid. Plus, it's a no-bake granola recipe that will remind you of the convenience of breakfast cereal, but this granola is packed with complex carbs and healthy fats!
- 3cupsquinoaHere's how to cooked soaked quinoa in your Instant Pot in 4 minutes!
- 1cupsoaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds
- 2cupsfinely shredded coconuttoasted
- 1/2cupfermented cacao nibs
- 1/3cupDietz Sweet or coconut sugar
- 1cupcoconut oil
- zest of 1 orange
- 1cupLily's stevia-sweetened chocolate chipsoptional
- First, soak and cook the quinoa according to these instructions.
- While the quinoa is soaking, you can also soak the pumpkin seeds. However, to save time and effort, I prefer to purchase pre-soaked/dehydrated pumpkin seeds here.
- When the quinoa is finished cooking, allow it to cool.
- Spread the cooked quinoa evenly on dehydrator trays*. If you soaked your own pumpkin seeds, place them on their own dehydrator trays.
- Dehydrate the quinoa (and pumpkin seeds at the same time) until completely dry and crisp. This is the dehydrator I have.
- When you're ready to assemble the granola, toast 2 cups of finely shredded coconut in a dry cast iron skillet. Set aside to cool.
- Break apart the dehydrated quinoa and add to a large mixing bowl, along with pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut, cacao nibs, Dietz Sweet, and salt.
- Next, melt the coconut oil. It should be melted but not hot. Pour it over the granola mixture, add the vanilla and orange zest and stir to combine.
- When the granola is TOTALLY cool, you can add the chocolate chips, if desired.
*If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dry the quinoa in your oven (but then, this recipe is no longer "no-bake"). Line cookie sheets with parchment, spread cooked quinoa over the sheets, and dehydrate on your oven's lowest setting until completely dry and crispy. Then break apart and continue with the recipe.
More Easy, Egg-Free Breakfast Ideas You’ll Love…
- Easy Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
- No-Cook Fruit & Chia Overnight Oats
- Instant Pot Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
- Vanilla Blueberry Overnight Oats + 60 More Nourishing No-Cook Breakfast Recipes
- The Everything Smoothie
- 5-Ingredient Paleo Breakfast Hash
- Egg-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Do you LOVE cereal? Will you try this no-bake granola?
Originally published on June 29, 2017. Updated text and new photos on January 10, 2020.
Could you also substitute the quinoa for millet?
Sure! I just haven’t tried it with millet, so I can’t say how it will taste. But, if you’re familiar with using/cooking millet, go for it!
I’ve just made this granola and was wondering… it’s wet right as in oily from the coconut oil??
It wont spoil in the pantry? How long will it last in the pantry?
Correct. It won’t spoil. We keep ours in an airtight jar in the pantry for weeks. As the oil solidifies, the granola dries out. Enjoy!
If I dehydrate this soaked/cooked quinoa and want to use it in a cooked dish, any idea how much moisture I would use to re-hydrate the “instant” quinoa?
Oooh, good question, Joy! I actually don’t know! Maybe start with a small amount of hot water and increase until you find what works? The good thing is that you can always drain it through a sieve if you get too much liquid! I hope you’ll let me know if you figure it out!
I made this over the weekend – yum! I’m wondering how you store it? Does it need to go in the fridge? How long do you think it will keep? Thanks!
Yay! I’m glad you liked it! I store mine in my pantry. The coconut oil will solidify if you keep it in the fridge or if your house is less than 72 degrees. Not a big deal, but it’s much easier to serve when it’s not stuck together! 😉