With a history of digestive issues, it took me a long time to figure out how to make a decent “low gut-reactive” granola. Over time and with many modifications, this one became my favourite. It’s chock-full of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, is school-safe, and is great to eat on its own as a snack, or as a topper on smoothie bows or yogurt. Best of all, it takes only 30 minutes to make!

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are important for fertility. They contain 9g of protein in just a ¼ cup (by context, a single batch of this granola contains ¾ cups of pumpkin seeds… 18g of protein). Sunflower seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamin E, magnesium, folate, iron and zinc.

What you need:

1/3 cup real maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp unsweetened sunflower seed butter
¾ cup raw sunflower seeds*
¾ cup pumpkin seeds (I use the roasted, salted ones from Costco, but any kind will do)*
½ tsp table salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

*If you have an allergy to seeds, you can exclude them


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the maple syrup and heat on medium-high heat until it just starts to simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and add coconut oil and sunflower seed butter. Mix gently until melted and well mixed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender or food processor, add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend/pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand.
  5. Mix the “sandy” seed blend into your melted ingredients in the sauce pot. Stir to mix.
  6. Add in the shredded coconut and stir to mix again.  
  7. Pour granola onto your baking sheet and spread out as much as possible. Bake for 8 minutes. Stir, spread out again, and bake for another 4-5 minutes until toasted but not brown.
  8. Let cool and break apart. Can store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To learn more about how you can support your fertility, or to book an appointment with Dr. Sarah Zadek, email us at info@conceivehealth.com or call (416) 364-2236.

By Dr. Sarah Zadek, Naturopathic Doctor at Conceive Health – Lakeridge in Whitby, Ontario.

Dr. Sarah Zadek ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Ontario with a clinical focus on women’s health, endocrinology and fertility. With her own health issues unsolved by medical doctors and specialists, Sarah turned to naturopathic medicine to help solve many of the ailments she had carried for years, including endometriosis and other autoimmune conditions. Her working background includes 14 years in pharmacy and experience as birth doula in the Greater Toronto Area. Dr. Sarah Zadek is a naturopathic doctor with Conceive Health, practicing at Lakeridge Fertility in Whitby. 

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