grain free

COZY BANANA BREAD GRANOLA by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

early fall will forever be granola season in my house, i’m never able to really deep-dive into autumn right away (especially when daytime temps are still pretty warm), and granola is the perfect touch of cozy that shifts everything towards a more snug vibe, plus it’s a cinch to make, and lasts for breakfast and snacks throughout the week! but the kicker here is that the banana and spices give your home the coziest fragrance that immediately puts you in the mood for all things fall.

weekday breakfasts tend to be an eat-and-go situation where frank and i are independently huddled in some corner of the house trying to get food in our mouth while we feed amesy, and in between nursing joey. almost 2 months of juggling 2 children, and we still haven’t really gotten our groove, but having prepared breakfasts are key to starting our day out nourished and feeling our best. i love granola just for this reason: it has the ability to be the cornerstone of wholesome breakfasts and snacks.

this granola is grain free, and made from chopped nuts and seeds. we add a good bit of spice here to help with the banana bread flavor we’re going for. but the glue that holds it all together is my new favorite oil, thrive algae oil! it’s a wonderful oil to cook, bake, and make sauces and dressings with, especially when you don’t want any unwanted added flavor in what you’re cooking or baking. take this granola for example. we really want the banana to shine here, and thanks to this flavorless, odorless oil, it very much does! unlike most other flavorless oils, algae oil is high in the kinds of healthy monounsaturated fats our bodies love, and low in saturated fat. it’s really been a game changer in my kitchen. i also love that it’s widely available and isn’t a niche product. i get it at my local whole foods, but it’s available on amazon, and at grocery stores nationwide.

i hope you all are enjoying the first weeks of fall so far. our mornings in southern california are cool, but the afternoon temps are still in the 80s. but nevertheless, we’re planning on getting out and living up all those fun autumn activities - i’ve been looking into where L:A picks apple and pumpkins (it’s harder to find patches here than i thought), i’m also trying to get ahead of the game when it comes to halloween costumes for both the boys (!!), while also decking out our entrance for all things fall/halloween (amesy, who’s now 3, is alllll about it!).

big cozy hugs! xo

*this post was created in partnership with Thrive Algae Oil. all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep dolly and oatmeal going!

cozy banana bread granola | v & gf

feel free to swap out any of the nuts and seeds for what you prefer or have on hand. if you don’t want this to be grain-free, by all means swap out some nuts for rolled oats or even puffed quinoa or rice. this is the kind of recipe that begs for customization.

print the recipe!

| makes roughly 3 cups |

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 cup chopped almonds and cashews

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 sunflower seeds

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled

  • 1/4 cup Thrive Algae Oil

  • 2 tablespoons good maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


  1. preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. in a large bowl, mix together the chopped nuts, seeds, spices, and salt. set aside.

  3. add the banana, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the container of a food processor fitted with a metal “s” blade. pulse until the mixture is completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides, as needed.

  4. pour the banana mixture over the nut and seed mixture. use a rubber spatula to thoroughly stir everything together. turn the granola out into the prepared baking sheet; use a spatula to evenly spread the granola out.

  5. baked for 15 minutes, then add the coconut and toss it together with the granola. bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant.

  6. let granola cool completely, then store in a lidded container. granola can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.


to be honest september stumps me in terms of cooking. it’s the height of produce season where you get the wonderful overlap of late summer and early fall mixed into one, and it’s almost too much for my brain to compute! do you have the same problem? i get into a seasonal rhythm when i’m cooking breakfast, so when a new season comes along everything kinda gets thrown out the window. i’ve been having cold summer smoothies on heavy rotation, along with almond yogurt with summer berries and almond butter. i’ve also been making amesy pancakes loaded with sliced peaches and/or blueberries.

so whenever i think of shifting to september, when we want a hint of autumnal spice, but we’re not quite ready to go full throttle, i turn to granola. it’s the perfect conduit for touches of cozy that can paired with just about anything. i tend to go for grain-free granola mixes these days, but many-to-most, store-bought varieties tout their “soft & chewy” texture. not sure about you, but i’m team “hard & crunchy” when it comes to grain-free granola. so most times i just make my own.

this granola recipe pairs 2 of my favorite things: seeds and coconut flakes. coconut flakes are the vehicle here for ultimate flavor. when it’s mixed up and baked with a bit of sweetener, spices, and salt, it absorbs all that flavor delivering the most tasty granola. the roasted plums here were an afterthought, but so worth the little bit of time to make them. you just throw them together while the granola is cooling - easy-peasy. they add a perfect little touch of summer’s end.

happy september, sweet friends!

pepita-coconut granola w/ maple roasted plums | gf/v/grain-free


| makes roughly 3 cups granola |

  • 2 cups coconut flakes

  • 1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • 1 cup chopped almonds

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • a couple pinches fine sea salt

  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup, or raw honey

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 4 firm, but ripe plums, halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

  • pinch of salt

  • unsweetened plant-based yogurt or milk, for serving


  1. preheat oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. in a large bowl, mix together the coconut flakes, pepitas, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. in a small bowl, whisk together the coconut nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. pour over dry ingredients. use a rubber spatula to mix the granola, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly and evenly.

  4. spread the granola evenly into the baking sheet, pushing it out into a flat layer. bake for 25-30 minutes, mixing it halfway through, until it’s lightly browned, and fragrant. (the color of the granola will also depend on what liquid sweetener you use. mine resulted in a darker color because i used coconut nectar.)

  5. let the granola cool, and raise the oven temperature to 400°F to roast the plums.

  6. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the plums together with coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. roast the plums cut side up for 25-30 minutes, until tender and juicy, and lightly browned around the edges. let cool for about 10 minutes.

  7. scoop your desired amount of yogurt into a bowl. top with a good bit of granola, and 1 or 2 plum halves; drizzle a bit of the plum juices around the bowl, and enjoy!

  8. store the granola in a sealed jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. store leftover plums and juices in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. reheat the plums or let them come to room temp before serving.

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Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies from Simply Vibrant by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

happy valentine's day!  if you've been reading this blog for a while then you probably know, i'm not that into this holiday. sorry to be a bummer. consider me one of those people who always thought it was a hallmark holiday.  but(!) i am finding it easier to get into the spirit now that amesy's old enough to find googly-eyed hearts, or mickey mouse valentine cards funny and interesting.  we're not doing any valentine projects (yet, i'm sure they'll come in time), but there is definitely a bit mote of a fuss over all the silly heart-shaped treats and decorations everywhere.  dare i say that i'm excited for next year when we'll be able to make cards, or decorations together!? we'll see what happens ;) but until then, BROWNIES!

these brownies come from anya kassoff (from the ever inspiring blog, Golubka Kitchen) and her daughter masha davydova (she takes all the stunning photographs!), and their cookbook: Simply Vibrant.  this is their second cookbook that focusses on plant-based, vegetarian meals spanning the day.  the contents are broken into very clever categories: morning meals like porridges and pancakes. then there are: wraps and rolls; noodles, pasta, and pizza; and  fritters and veggie burgers.  the last couple of chapters include sweets, and basics and sauces.  anya, like she does on her blog, makes her recipes so inviting not only with the beautiful photos that grace the pages, but the different flavors and textures she incorporates into each dish.  

these brownies for instance are made lusciously fudgy by using sweet potato - something i would never think of incorporating into a brownie batter.   there's also a good amount of chocolate, but anya instructs you to chop it in the food processor which basically makes the chocolate into a meal,  it's then stirred in with the rest of the batter to form these delicious treats.  and i especially love a dessert i don't have to worry about giving amesy nibbles of.  they're sweetened with dates (and aforementioned chocolate), and i assume some sweetness comes from the sweet potato as well ;)  these are the perfect treat to induge in on this day, or any day, really!  whatever you're partaking in, i hope it is serving you well! 

big XOXO's!

sweet potato chocolate brownies | v & gf

my notes: i used 85% cacao bittersweet chocolate.  next time i would use between 60%-70& cacao chocolate,  as most of the sweetness in these brownies comes from the chocolate.  

recipe from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff

print the recipe!

| makes 12 large or 24 small brownies |

  • 1 cup (200 g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) almond flour
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the brownies
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 9 to 10 (140 g) large, soft medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup almond butter


  1. preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, extending the paper up the sides. place the chocolate in the freezer.
  2. spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes.  remove them from the oven and let them cool, then rub them with a clean kitchen towel to remove the skins.  reserve a few whole nuts for garnishing the brownies, and place the rest of the nuts in a food processor; grind into a meal.  make sure you don't overprocess.  transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. place the chilled chocolate in the food processor and grind into the smallest pieces possible.  transfer to the bowl with the ground hazelnuts and add the almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  stir to mix evenly.
  4. combine the dates, sweet potato chunks, and almond butter in the food processor and puree until smooth.  spoon this mixture into the bowl with the ground hazelnuts and chocolate; stir to combine thoroughly.  
  5. spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and even out the top with a spoon.  transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top of the brownie is firm to the touch.
  6. remove the pan from the oven and let it cool to room temperature, then transfer the brownie to a cutting board, using the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan.  dust the brownie with cocoa powder chop the reserved whole hazelnuts and sprinkle them on top, if desired.  slice the brownies into bars. 

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