Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while knows that I am a homemade granola addict. I make a big batch every week, and I love experimenting with new flavor, in honor of summer and all the cantaloupe on sale, I thought it was only right to make a secretly healthy cantaloupe coconut granola recipe.

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)This vegan granola was actually inspired by the tons of cantaloupe seeds and pulp I had leftover when cutting a fresh cantaloupe. I was feeling a little too lazy to clean the seeds entirely and roast them, but throwing away completely safe seeds and pulp didn’t feel right either. Gluten free granola to the rescue!

This granola is naturally sweetened with cantaloupe pulp and puréed banana, and the cantaloupe seeds actually offer various health benefits. Not only are they high in protein (with researchers hypothesizing that cantaloupe seed milk could rival soy milk in protein!), but they’re also full of fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Combined with goodies like buckwheat groats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and cinnamon, this vegan granola recipe tastes sweet enough to enjoy as dessert but is healthy enough to eat for breakfast or as a gluten free snack. 

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

Plus, who doesn’t love a crunchy granola with chewy nuggets of shredded dates and cantaloupe pulp? Vanilla extract also seems to make the cantaloupe taste extra sweet while the coconut flakes add an additional layer of “tropical” summer flavor. Warning: once you taste this coconut granola, it’ll be hard to stop chowing down!

If you’re ready to turn food waste into a fabulous gluten free breakfast, start by gathering the ingredients below. This will make roughly three trays of thinly packed granola, which usually lasts me around a week. 

Ingredients for Cantaloupe Coconut Granola:

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup rice flakes (or gluten free oats, quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, etc)
2.5 cups crumbled rice cakes or puffed rice cereal
3/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup mixes pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1.5 tbsp of cinnamon
3 dates
1 cup cantaloupe seeds and pulp (from two large and one small cantaloupe)

1/4 cup banana purée (or puréed cantaloupe)
Splash of vanilla extract 
Little water to wet final mix

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

How to Make Homemade Granola:

Whipping up this vegan granola is super simple. Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and pouring your dry ingredients (the buckwheat groats, rice flakes, crumbled rice cakes, seeds, coconut flakes and spices) into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly before adding your wet ingredients. 

I’d recommend chopping up some of the cantaloupe pulp with a knife before adding it in so that the fruit is spread equally throughout. If you want big chunks, though, you do you! You can also either chop the date or pull them apart with your fingers. The main goal is to add some caramelized chewy goodness throughout your vegan granola.

Once you’ve added everything and mixed your gluten free granola throughly, you might add one or two tablespoons of water to the mix. You want the uncooked granola to be damp but not dripping wet. I’ve found that a little bit of water binds everything just as effectively as oil, and you can still get crunchy, crispy granola even while making it oil free. 

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

When your gluten free granola is binding together relatively well and everything is incorporated equally, you can spread it on three (parchment-covered) baking sheets. When I used to make granola right on the baking trays, I often had to deal with it sticking to the pan, so I do highly recommend lining your baking trays for this granola recipe. 

If you want crispy clusters of granola like I show in these recipe photos, you’ll also want to line your trays with a thin layer of granola and press them firmly into the pan. If you’d like a looser, more trail-mix-like texture, feel free to just gently place the granola on the trays instead. 

Then, pop your granola in the oven and cook for around 25 minutes, turning the trays halfway. If you want a looser consistency, also stir the granola halfway through so that you break up any big clusters. For cluster-lovers like me, don’t stir your granola while it bakes for the best results!

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

You’ll know the granola is ready when it’s golden and crispy to the touch. For the ultimate clusters, let this cantaloupe coconut granola cool completely before breaking it apart and storing it in a sealed bag or container. If it’s hot where you are (hello summer!), I recommend storing the granola in your fridge as the high amount of liquid from the fruits can make it go bad quickly in high temperatures. 

I can also happily report that ALL of my homemade granola recipes - ranging from my Secretly Healthy Coconut Pumpkin Granola to my Cacao Crunch Granola - can be frozen in a sealed container and defrosted in the fridge later. They’ll taste a little softer than they were originally, but just as delicious, so if you can’t make it through this big batch in a little over a week, you can always freeze some for future gluten free snacking. 

Enjoy Your Gluten Free Granola!

Just like my other gluten free granolas, there are also plenty of ways to enjoy this cantaloupe granola. Sprinkle it on smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits or ice cream. Eat it with fruit and nut butter for a quick gluten free snack. Treat it like cereal and pour it in a bowl with milk. Or, like I often find myself doing, snack on this vegan granola straight out of the bag! 

Clumpy Cantaloupe Coconut Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free)

Although I’m addicted to my Berry Coconut Granola during berry season (AKA, now!), this cantaloupe granola is honestly one of my favorite granola recipes because of how it uses up ingredients that are often thrown away. I love coming up with unique ways to transform random ingredients like lettuce stalks, radish greens, and, in this case, cantaloupe seeds from trash to delicious dishes. This summer, I challenge you to do the same, whether it’s by throwing wilted lettuce into your green smoothies or whipping up this cantaloupe coconut granola. 

And trust me. Once you bite into this sweet, crunchy, chewy granola, you’ll never throw away cantaloupe seeds and pulp again! 

What’s your favorite way to get creative with often discarded ingredients? What is your favorite summer fruit? Tell me in the comments! 


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