Tahini Granola with Orange, Cacao & Mulberries

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 5 votes
Crisp, nutty, and delicious vegan tahini granola with orange zest. Coconut and cacao nibs are added for crunch and dried mulberries bring a sweet-tart edge. This is an extra flavourful nut-free granola recipe.
Up close, overhead image shows golden brown granola in a bowl with yogurt and slices of regular and blood oranges.
An overhead shot of tahini granola in a bowl with yogurt and citrus. Cut citrus, a light green matcha latte, and a jar of granola are seen to the side.
An overhead shot of spices and maple syrup being stirred into tahini, creating a swirl effect.


I was in a bulk food store with my jars in tow and a plan to get some staples like brown rice and spices. I spied dried mulberries on sale out of the corner of my eye and just started thinking about a golden brown tahini granola with mulberries, cacao nibs, and orange. Sweet, sour, wine-y and toasty with a bit of sparkle. I filled one of my one quart jars up. That’s the rather boring genesis of this recipe, but the results are pure magic, especially in a bowl with some homemade nut milk.

I want to add something about those jars too. I shared that I had brought my own containers to the bulk store on Instagram stories the other day and had SO MANY questions about how that process works. Everyone messaging me seemed very excited about the prospect of a waste-free bulk shopping trip, which in turn got me super excited too. I buy so many things in bulk and the amount of little crappy plastic bags I was using seemed so counterintuitive. I hit up a pretty popular bulk food chain in my neighbourhood, and they are very cool about minimal waste efforts.

How it works: the first thing you do when you walk in is go right to the cash-out area and ask the cashier to weigh your containers. At my particular store, they wrote the weight on the bottom of each jar with a wax pencil. I had 3 1-quart jars with the exact same lid and they all came in at different weights, so this step is key! Once you have your weighed containers, you shop/fill up everything. Once you’re ready to checkout, the cashier subtracts the recorded weight. Super easy and no need to be intimidated. Also, don’t forget your cloth tote bags for bringing everything home ;)

We are taking those little steps towards minimizing single use items this year. I never put my produce in bags at the grocery store, but kind of had to the other day when I bought loose brussels sprouts, so some of these bags might be my next purchase. I also used to be the world’s most avid and enthusiastic user of parchment paper, but am trying to give my Silpat more of a workout these days. While they do sell biodegradable versions of parchment and often times you can get multiple uses out of one sheet, I honestly find using the Silpat easier! Might need to pick up one more for multiple trays of roasted veg though. Slow and little steps!

Enjoy this classic high vibe bulk shop staple with a few fancy upgrades! More granola inspiration with this Ginger Molasses Granola with Dark Chocolate and Toasty Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Granola.

Overhead image shows a hand stirring together a granola mixture, pre-baking.
Overhead image shows measuring cups with cacao nibs and mulberries in them.
An up close, overhead image of golden granola with big coconut flakes.
An overhead shot of tahini granola in a bowl with yogurt and citrus. Cut citrus, a light green matcha latte, and a jar of granola are seen to the side.

Tahini Granola with Orange, Cacao & Mulberries

Crisp, nutty, and delicious vegan tahini granola with orange zest. Coconut and cacao nibs are added for crunch and dried mulberries bring a sweet-tart edge. This is an extra flavourful nut-free granola recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Vegan Tahini Granola with Orange, Cacao & Mulberries - The First Mess
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free oats, if necessary)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
  • zest of 1 medium-sized orange
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup large flake coconut
  • ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
  • ½ cup dried mulberries
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs

Notes

  • If you don’t like tahini, I would recommend any of the following butters to replace it: raw cashew, hazelnut, walnut or pumpkin seed. If you want to use almond butter, I’d take the orange zest out of the equation.
  • This granola will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
  • I love this granola with coconut milk-based yogurt. The flavour combination just sparkles.
  • Tahini brands vary in flavour and quality, which is important to note for this recipe especially. My favourites are by Soom and Shirley Bar Living.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Place the oats on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast the oats for 10 minutes. Once you remove the oats, lower the oven’s heat to 325 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt. Once you have a gloppy and homogenous mixture, stir in the toasted oats, coconut, and sesame seeds to coat.
  • Spread the coated oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, ensuring the most even layer possible. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until granola is deep golden brown, about 32-35 minutes. Stir and flip the granola every 10 minutes or so.
  • Once you’ve removed the tahini granola from the oven, stir in the mulberries and cacao nibs while it is still warm. Allow the tahini granola to cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
Image shows an open kitchen shelf with jars of seeds, grains, coconut, and granola.
10/01/2018 (Last Updated 29/11/2023)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, earthy, gluten free, nut free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, tahini, vegan, winter

35 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Jill

    5 stars
    A friend made this for me for Christmas and I printed off the recipe so I could make it myself. It’s so good! The orange zest makes it smell amazing! It’s like Christmas in a bowl. :)

  • Stacy

    5 stars
    I initially skipped this because of the tahini, but decided to go back and look at it. Nut butter sub, I can do that! For anyone else learning a countertop oven- I recommend dropping it to 300 and putting it on the lower rack. Thought I was watching it close enough at 325 and upper rack(derp, I wasn’t) and burned the mulberries on the first batch! Second one was perfect with the adjustments. Oh the joys of RV living. Haha. Skipped the cacao nibs and cardamom, cut the maple syrup to 1/3. Might have doubled the seeds, coconut, mulberries because we’re a family of 7. Yum. So thankful for a tasty, easy breakfast for a couple days! 

  • Steff

    5 stars
    Had to say thank you for this recipe, even though I’ve had to tweak 2 of the main ingredients. I had tried various other granola recipes that just didn’t seem to hit the mark, and when I found this, I knew it was a winner. I’m unable to get mulberries and wanted to keep it dog-friendly (our pupper loves licking our breakfast bowls), but subbing in dates for the berries and hemp hearts for the cacao nibs results in a granola that I wake up thinking about, no joke!

    • Laura

      Hi Steff,
      I’m so glad that the granola is working for you! I love that you made it dog-friendly too :) Gotta spoil those pups when we can.
      -L

  • Dara

    I love this recipe so much, I’ve made over and over! Thank you so much for sharing your genius and gorgeous images. When I’m unable to find mulberry, I sub currants and raisins, and like to add sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well, topped off with heavy coconut cream chia seed pudding. *divine* Thanks again!

  • Mark Landau

    in the oven now. looks TREMENDOUS! thanks for recipe!!

  • Dara

    Hi Laura!

    Your images and recipes are absolutely exquisite! Made your beautiful granola recipe tonight and so excited to eat in the morning. I’ve been snacking the whole way through making it and it’s just divine. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance!

    xxx

    Dara

  • Cedar

    This looks incredible! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the little things that make this recipe unique – I’ve never thought of putting sesame seeds in granola! Thank you for sharing. I’ll absolutely be trying it!

  • Janel Barthe

    hello, what a great idea for Christmas gifts! I did homemade vanilla one year using different flavored beans and had a blast. Do you have other granola recipes as well, and how about nutritional values. I am on Weight Watchers program and still enjoy goodies, but this information would help.

    Thanks and keep on cooking and apparently living your dream.

    P. S. what is the max oven temperature for the sil mats?

    Janel in Louisiana

  • Allie

    I have made this 5 times; it’s my favorite granola! Today I didn’t have orange but it’s still delicious (I miss the orange though). Thanks for introducing me to mulberries!

    One note: maybe it’s because I have a convection oven, but even if I turn the oven down to 300, I still only have to cook it about 20 minutes til very browned!

  • Claudia

    I made a batch of this yesterday, and I just can’t stop eating it. It kind of reminds me of a sophisticated and healthier version of my favorite childhood cereal Cracklin Oat Bran. What a divine recipe.

  • Shimmy

    Hey Laura, I made this granola last night and it was absolutely divine! I had all the ingredients on hand already. I’m obsessed, I think this is my new favorite granola for the unforeseeable future. Thank you <3

  • Shannon

    Thank you so much for talking about your efforts to reduce waste Laura! I love your blog/Instagram and content like this makes me even more excited to read your posts. Please keep sharing!

  • Barb

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks,
    Barb

  • Jessica Paroda

    Not food related but where do you tend shop for jars and canisters?

    • Laura

      I’ve found a lot of mine at HomeSense (Home Goods in the US and elsewhere). The Container Store sells wood-topped ones like mine that you can see in the one photo. For tight sealing jars, I tend to prefer Weck or Ball brand jars.
      -L

  • Fresh to Death

    How do you keep your crunchy veggies from getting flaccid in the fridge without the vapor membrane of plastic bags?

    • Laura

      I tend to go through my vegetables quite fast because we’ve gotten into a rhythm of buying just the right amount for our house week after week. For things like celery, radishes, and carrots, I clean and cut them, then store them covered in water in glass sealable containers. They usually keep for about 5-7 days like this with a midweek water change. Lettuces and greens get cleaned, cut, and are stored in a sealable container with a slightly damp paper towel. I know that paper towel is a single use thing, but I do what I can, and it really does help keep the greens better.
      -L

  • Chloe

    yummmm, went to my local bulk foods shop, jars in tow, and made it this afternoon. It smells amazing – I LOVE cardamon, tahini and coconut. I used homemade tahini, honey instead of maple, pepitas, sunflower seeds, walnuts and dried figs… because why not. Thanks for the inspiration (both the recipe and encouraging me to take the jars to the shop). Love Chloe, from Perth, living in Canberra, Aus xxx

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    I wish there was a bulk food store around here!! Whole Foods has a bulk section but it would be so cool to have a whole store devoted to it!! But in 2018 one of my goals was to recycle more and have less trash, so I’m excited to bring in my mason jars as soon as I run out of quinoa and millet ;)

  • Sandy

    I pretty much only make your Mega CLump Granola from your book these days (so good!) but this one is getting made asap. That flavor combination sounds dreamy.

    One question though: I make my own tahini out of whole sesame seeds. Quality is great but it’s of the darker, more bitter variety. As opposed to the lighter tahini made out of hulled seeds. Would that still work as written in the recipe or should I reduce the quantity?

    • Laura

      Hi Sandy!
      If you’re using homemade tahini from unhulled sesame seeds, I might take the amount back to a 1/3 cup. Let me know what it tastes like (and what the texture is like) if you try it! :)
      -L

  • Emily von Euw

    Fuck yes.

  • Rachel @Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

    Oh. My. Word.

  • Sally

    Wow, how lucky find to dried mulberries. They grow wild where I live, most people treat them as a weed but I may have to dry some on my own this year.

  • Sabine

    love! would also love to know where you get your jars and containers from? they’re so unique!

    • Laura

      Hi Sabine,
      Do you mean the wood topped ones on my shelf in the last pic? Those were a lucky find at HomeSense (or Home Goods in the US + elsewhere). The Container Store sells a very similar version though! And you can get wood lids for Weck jars now as well.
      -L

  • Aiden

    Hi! I’m wondering about your note re: the variations in tahini quality… Any thoughts re: Nuts To You Organic tahini? I would be sad to let this recipe down with a subpar tahini.

    <3

    • Laura

      Hi Aiden!
      I’ve never actually tried that brand, so can’t be entirely sure. If you love the taste of it, I say go for it ;)
      -L

      • Aiden

        Thanks so much, Laura. I’m very much looking forward to trying this out. :)

  • Lacey

    Looks and sounds delish. I am thinking I would sub goji berries though… thoughts or other suggestions for replacing the mulberries?

    Enjoy your trip!!

    • Laura

      I think goji berries would be great! Or even dried sour cherries would be so bomb here. Chopped up dates too!
      -L

  • Erin at Pure Feast

    Oh wow, love the sound of this combo! Will definitely need to try. Have fun in Turks and Caicos, sunbathing with your super sweet Yeti rambler by your side. :)

  • thefolia

    This looks too yummy to pass up going to make some today! My co-op has a weigh station next to the bulk so I weigh my glass jars myself. Take me with you to Turks and Caicios, my bones could use some warming up now. Happy and safe travels.

  • Patricia Scarpin

    I love the idea of adding tahini to granola – absolutely genius! Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Love the recipes too!