Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Cinnamon Raisin Granola (gluten-free, vegan, cane sugar-free)


Here's another one for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil. Granted, there isn't a lot of coconut oil in this granola, but it is still in there!  Coconut oil is definitely my preferred oil of choice for such kitchen endeavors. But despite my deep love for coconut oil, I don't see the need to drown my granola with it! There are lots of recipes out there for granola calling for upwards of 1/4 cup of oil for a comparable amount of oats and other ingredients, which I think is total overkill and leads to very heavy granola. I like what the combination of a little coconut oil with cashew butter does in this recipe. The cashew butter adds great flavor, fabulous protein, the combination of fats allow the oats to crisp up and turn golden without being heavy or greasy.  

I came up with this recipe for a friend who was having a serious granola craving, and she and her husband both loved how easy it is to make and how delicious it tastes. I hope you enjoy it as much as they do.  Granola is perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or to sprinkle over everything from homemade coconut milk ice cream to rice porridge. 

If you are interested in participating in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, read the kick-off post HERE and then get cookin'. This month we are giving away a quart of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one lucky participant. 

This recipe is also linked to...




Cinnamon Raisin Granola

yield 4-5 cups

This easy-to-make granola is nutty, sweet, and spicy. If cashew butter isn't your thing, try tahini, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or another butter of your choosing. The unbaked granola "dough" will taste sweeter than the finished granola does after it is baked, so add a little more sweetener while making to taste than you might think you should - it will bake up perfect then.

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats (NOT quick cook)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches finely ground sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic apple juice 
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup, to taste (if desired, use only 1/4 cup sweetener plus stevia, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins (a mixture of purple, red, and golden raisins would be pretty)

Preheat oven to 325º F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix together oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.  Whisk together apple juice, cashew butter, sweetener, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame, whisking constantly to mix.  Once is starts to thicken slightly, remove from heat. 

Immediately pour warm cashew butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheets. Mixture should be no more than 1/2-inch thick, so if your baking sheet is too small, line another sheet and spread mixture onto two pans.

Place in oven and bake for an hour to and hour and fifteen minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp (if using two pans in the oven, rotate between oven racks each time you stir). Remove from oven and let cool completely, then stir in dried fruit and store in a well-sealed jar or container. 

If kept well-sealed, this will keep fresh for 2 weeks. 

january 2011 SOS Kitchen Challenge: coconut oil

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Reader Comments (8)

Sounds totally yummy, Kim! I haven't had granola in so long. . . missing those raisins! (of whatever color!) :)

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

I really must come up with a recipe with coconut oil. I use it, but more in specialty things (ie raw carob-chocolate etc) than everyday. This granola looks lovely!

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterValerie @ City|Life|Eats

@Ricki - I know, i miss them too! occasionally i'll sneak a few, but I miss the days of eating raisin-packed granolas like this!!!! my friends are so lucky.

@Valerie - Coconut oil is so great for everyday use! Especially in a wide variety of SE Asian-style cuisines, Caribbean foods, and the like. jGood luck, and make sure to enter htis month so you can be eligible for the quart of coconut oil!!! :)

January 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterKim

Yummy! When I was a kid, we used to make granola as a family. It was so good! I love that this is a healthier variation.

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine


I've used coconut oil in granola before & it is great. It even browns well. As for sweeetner, I am now opting these days for brown rice syrup or yacon in lieu of agave.

Oh and a tidbit of info here: You can go to amazon.com, look up Nutiva's Coconut Oil & get a 54oz jar for like $22 bucks. I use it all the time so it goes far. Love it!

January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

mmmmm thanks girl!

just made your recipe and added whole flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and crushed mixed nuts for a little extra protein and fats. SO GOOD!!!!

thanks for everything that you do. keep it up. love this site :)

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

@Christine - that's awesome you have memories of making granola! That's really cute. I hope that you enjoy this recipe if you try it!

@Gina - I way prefer brown rice syrup over agave too. I never really warmed up to the stuff. Oddly, I never think to add that to my list of liquid sweeteners in recipes, which is silly, because i love it! THanks for the Nutiva tip! I have also done that on Amazon and it is a great deal. I like their coconut oil a lot too. Since I use it for all sorts of things in the kitchen and for the body, I'm currently working my way through 2 gallons of Tropical Traditions coconut oil. $100 for 2 gallons equals about $12.50 quart, which is great, since their quarts usually cost $27 or something like that. I love Tropical Traditions!

@Alicia - oh, i'm so flattered! Thanks. I'm glad you like it and added the seeds and nuts. My friend is allergic to all seeds and nuts except cashews and she didn't want anything else added to the mix, so it stayed simple. :) Thanks so much for your kind words, and I hope Portland is treating you well, darlin'

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

Thanks for sharing Kim - this granola sounds wonderful! We consume a lot of granola in our house so it's always inspiring to hear great new recipes. I'm working on a "soaked" granola recipe right now where I soak the oats 12-24 hours in a slightly acidic sweet mixture before baking. I've read that this makes it easier to digest - so I'm trying to determine if that's true for me as I love oats, but they can be a bit hard on my system. It might be just a matter of eating less oats though - fresh homemade granola is addictive! ;)

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatty
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo