1-Minute Coconut Granola for Two (No-Bake)

Okay, so deal: why am I baking making granola for two when I’m only one?

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No, I’m not preggers, you sick Sherlocks, I know who you are and this isn’t a British teledrama episode called The Sign of Three.1-minute Coconut Granola 4--102614It’s the start of a new swim season around these parts, where outdoor pools reign supreme and the scent of chlorine wafts off my saturated skin in noxious waves. Our greatest fear is that winter is coming and heaven forbid the temperature drops below a chilly 68 degrees at night.

So naturally, I’m following Manatee Survival Rule #1 and storing up body fat for the winter months. Duh.

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Life has a funny way of crumpling all our life plans into a wad of week-old newspaper and chucking it in a whole new direction. I started swimming when I was 3, but it wasn’t until 9th grade–right after I quit my competitive swim club–that I actually fell in love with swimming as a sport.  As luck would have it, I failed to make the school volleyball team (in hindsight, a good thing) and then I got cut from soccer tryouts (a very good thing–I loved playing soccer, but oh dem soccer Mean Girls), so I ended up in normal-people fourth-period PE instead.

Gym was–there’s no way to say it nicely–a waste of time. I was an athletic kid in a pool of floundering, I-don’t-do-movement types–literally. During our swim unit, they forced us to stand in the shallow end of the pool and swim across the short length of the pool, which is like asking a cheetah to sprint across a sandbox. Not that I’m a cheetah, because then cross-country would probably have wanted me and that’d be a whole different story, but you get the point.

And in that lackluster, dingy family pool was where I first met Mike

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Mike found me as I was streamlining underwater. Somehow the school couldn’t find a sub that day and asked him to step in. When I popped my head up, he was standing at the edge of the pool with his hands on his hips, and the first words to me were:

“So, what’s your 100 time like?”

Rather surprised at this abrupt introduction, I told him I probably went a 1:10 but that I hadn’t checked in a while. He chuckled and shook his head.

“Oh, don’t worry. You’re much faster than that. You’re coming to try out for the team this semester, right?”

And that’s how I became a freshman varsity swim team member. I don’t remember hesitating or wondering, “Do I really have what it takes? What it this leads me somewhere I hadn’t anticipated? Will I be able to commit? Will I even like it” I simply took a suggestion, tried it…and found it serendipitous.

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That lack of hesitation threw a whole new aspect on my high school self: suddenly I was not only good at something, I was part of something special. That year I went to my first regional championship with a 0:55 time for my 100 free; by my senior year, I was back for my fourth and helped the team secure two Top 5 relay medals, two new school records, not to mention a Top 16 for myself (in the 100 fly). Better than all that, though, were the strap lines and the absurd goggle tans; the kind of ridiculous amounts of food we shoveled down every day (3 ice cream bars and 2 donuts easy before dinnertime); the cheering and the huddling and the deck changing and the Instant Ramen. Lots and lots of ramen.

In a lot of ways, I admire my younger self for my unquestioning chutzpah, for that undeterred drive to simply dive into new things (like bad puns) and test out the waters. And it’s something I’ve striven to reignite as I explore, cook, swim, and laugh my way through grad school as well. For a period last year, while I was studying away from campus and no longer teaching, I disconnected myself and was 10 times more miserable for it.

Thankfully, this year, I’ve sprung back onto the test board: I’m back in the pool, sharing my love for baking with everyone around me instead of hoarding it in secret, taking dance classes again, joining up international mentorship & social groups, making nighttime excursions to Disneyland, meeting new acquaintances at the gym, and living life. We complain that the hours in every day are too short as it is. Then who’s got time for useless questions?

Saying yes opens a lot of doors, but you’ll never know which one leads to a treasure trove until you try.

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So when King Arthur Flour offered to send a bag of this gluten-free almond flour my way, I said (well, squealed, maybe) yes. Yes to the dress. Yes to this flour, which I’d been dying to try ever since I started dabbling in more GF recipes like this and this.

I threw a handful of it into this one-minute coconut granola, and you probably know where the story ends: in my tummy. The whole darn batch. For two. In one belly.

Because winter is coming.

And the manatees are whispering to me, you, and this granola. They’re saying, Just say yes…



1-Minute Coconut Granola for Two (No-Bake)

1-Minute Coconut Granola for Two (No-Bake)

The simplest chewy granola ever: just 8 ingredients and you're ready for a coconutty dream breakfast, snack, whatever! Great for enjoying with yogurt, soy milk, or even by itself!


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or sub 1 tbsp with applesauce)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (sub agave nectar or maple syrup to keep it vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kahlua (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup King Arthur's almond flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking gluten-free oats
  • 3 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut (or flakes)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped nuts, your choice


  1. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, and Kahlua/vanilla until well combined.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour liquid mixture into dry and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  3. It's as simple as that. Toss onto a bowl of yogurt and enjoy your chewy granola!

This is not a sponsored post. I received free products from King Arthur Flour to test and review. All opinions expressed in this post are 110% my own.




27 Replies to “1-Minute Coconut Granola for Two (No-Bake)”

  1. I like you even better now that you have referenced Sherlock 😉 Why does this granola look soooo good? I’m going to casually send it to my boy and see if he’s willing to whip up some batches in the morning hehe

    1. Ooh, I’m glad I’m not the only student who has watched because I do feel guilty about my (admittedly limited) TV time! Totally worth every second though–cannot WAIT for next season. And I hope he can hear me as I shout across the country, “Goooooo boy, make it for her!!!”

  2. Ala, I really enjoyed reading your post! It made me smile. You are such a good writer. And the granola looks wonderful. I’ve never seen Kahlua in a granola recipe. I bet it’s delicious! Thanks for sharing some of your life with us and a great recipe as well.

    1. MANATEE WHISPERERS. Seriously, Shari, that’s what we are–and darn good at it, too! Thanks SO much for the kind words, especially about the writing–it made my day completely awesome. Cheers, and have yourself an amazing week!

  3. P.S. Now I know why I’ve been eating so much lately. The manatees are whispering to me!:)

  4. Good post. Swimming burns so many calories you can eat anything. And a double portion of this great looking recipe. Really fun read — thanks.

    1. Heh, that’s our mentality exactly. Gotta have the right outlook! Happy Monday, John!

  5. Oh my god. When you said you were storing up for winter, I was DYING! Yes, winter is coming and we totally need to have double the granola. I am 100% there with you. Especially when it is this particular granola. Yum.

    1. Dude, winter is a real thing! I mean, not here obviously, but at least somewhere in the world (where you live, I would assume?). Please join me in my manatee winter survival mode, Amanda 😀

  6. You always make me smile with your posts!! I wish I could swim 🙁 But I will take this granola still and eat my sorrows!! Love the apple and that coconut infusion!

    1. Swimming is so therapeutic! You know what they say: never too late to learn, and I bet you guys have at least indoor pools, right? Then you could eat your joy and weight in granola along with me! 🙂

  7. Haha loved that you are saying yes to all of that and living life! Well I’m saying yes to this granola – it needs to get in my tummy too!

    1. Yes yes yes! Such a good idea, Kelly! <3

  8. No bake granola! Count me in! I once was a swimmer but somehow or another have gotten to lazy to get in the pool! Your post has me missing the water!

    1. Oooh, I love meeting fellow swimmers, past or present! When/what did you swim, Deb? I bet the water misses you, too 🙂

  9. I echo everyone’s comments here, Ala. Your writing is phenomenal and your posts always put a huge smile on my face. Damn, you’re inspirational! Makes me sick (just kidding!). You know I’m a glass-half-empty kinda girl. My new motto in life should be: What would Ala do? Have you heard of that book where the woman decided to say yes to everything for an entire year? Or maybe I’m making this up in my head. Ok, I just googled it – the author says yes to every man who asks her out for a year because she felt that she was being too picky. Totally off topic! I love this post and I love this granola. I need to start ordering King Arthur flours on line since we don’t get them here in Vancouver.

  10. Can I be a bit weird and store up for summer? 😛 Your granola looks absolutely delicious and simple recipe too? I am fully ready to devour this!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. I am ALWAYS storing up, winter or not. Winter is just an excuse, so store away, dearest Uru!

  11. what a gorgeous piece of writing, Ala! Manatees and memories and motivation… now I’m going to keep all those in mind every time I munch on granola.

    1. I was chowing down granola this morning when I read your comment–now all I’M going to do is think about all those things, too! Gosh! I guess it makes it more interesting though, right? 😉 happy Thursday, Myriam dear!

  12. Ohymgosh this looks so good Ala! My boys are on swim team and just love it. I hope they continue to do so because while it’s time-consuming and exhausting as parents, it’s also SO much fun!

    1. Being a swim mom sounds GREAT! I know I love when my parents can just spend whole weekends with me out on the decks at huge meets. Good on you, Trish! I hope your boys do continue because swimming is such a wonderful sport they can keep up forever 🙂 happy Thursday, Trish!

  13. Speedy granola??? Love this recipe…and adding Kahlua sounds soooooo good!
    P.S. I’m glad you’re back in the pool 😉

  14. These coconut granola look so delicious, Ala! I’m a granola fanatic. I’m likely to pick out all the granola clusters in cereals and leave behind the rest of the cereal. And these sound absolutely perfect. And that bowl! Where did you get that bowl? I love the shape of it =)

    1. hehehe never buy a box of Honey Bunches when I’m around, because I totally do the same and leave all the corn flakes. Whoops? I got this bowl from DaiSo, I think!!! You should totally go look in Japantown for one! Maybe we can match 🙂

  15. Uh oh… Daiso? That’s like my weakness. I go in there for one thing and I come out with 20 others. lol

    1. Dang. Just as I typed that comment, I remembered it wasn’t Daiso–it was a free bowl from a rice cooker set I think 😀 so you’re Daiso-safe (for now!).

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