Paleo Granola

Paleo Granola - how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!

Do you ever have to eat your words? How about your thoughts?

Just wondering… cause I never have that problem.

Oops, excuse me, I might have to stop writing this post because, well, I can’t see the screen anymore; my nose is growing.

Really long…

Okay, to be honest, I do have that problem occasionally quite frequently.

For example, there was “Google”. I remember my son, Nick talking excitedly about Google. It seems like it was a hundred years ago (I mean really, who remembers life before Google?), but it was only about fourteen or fifteen. “What in the world is Google?” I asked him, “That is probably the dumbest word I ever heard”.

Then here’s a really embarrassing one. When my daughter, Cait announced seven or eight years ago, that she was going to start a blog, that was another dumb word. “Blog?” I mean really, who dreams up words like that?

I’m the one who’s dumb. Not only do I now have my own blog, but I’m infamous in our family as, “The Google Queen”. In fact, a few paragraphs ago, I googled “When did Google start?”, so I wouldn’t sound so dumb when I told you how many years ago it was that I thought Google was dumb  Sheeeesh!

 

Google

I have to admit, the same thing occurred when I learned about the “paleo” diet, which promotes “Returning to the diet of our early (paleolithic) ancestors.”, meaning lots of lean protein, seeds nuts, berries, fruit, etc. There’s nothing wrong with this concept, in fact, we should all be eating more of these healthy foods. There are, however,  lots of restrictions with the paleo diet. The exclusions include: all refined and processed foods, most grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), dairy, fruit juice, tubers (sweet and regular potatoes) and salt.

I would describe our dietary philosophy here at The Café more along the lines of “balance”. We eat healthy for the most part, with a few fun indulgences thrown in. But we do enjoy most of the things that are on the “no-no” list for paleos. We love whole grain breads and oatmeal, eat lots of Greek yogurt and peanut butter, enjoy fresh orange juice, use all kinds of potatoes (both sweet and regular) and absolutely love bean soups, chilies and all kinds of international cuisines that have legumes (beans) as a staple. And then there’s sugar (a refined food product). Although we try to limit our intake, my nose would be crashing through my computer screen if I said we didn’t enjoy sweet treats (quite obvious in my last post – Best Ever Chocolate Pound Cake).

All this to say, I haven’t really given recipes labeled as “paleo” a whole lot of attention, thinking they would be a little too extreme for my more middle-of-the-road style of cooking and probably not super tasty either. Until now, that is.

Paleo Granola - how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!

Last week I found myself eating my words/thoughts (again!). My sister, Annie sent me a recipe for Paleo Granola. My first thought was, “Hmmm, probably not.” But Annie is one of the most wonderful cooks I know, and in her email she said, “It’s really delicious. I like it better than our fabulous granola recipe.”

Paleo Granola - how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!

To myself: “Better than our old standby we’ve been making for a zillion years? Really?”

So I tried it. “Oh my word!” is what flew out of my mouth when I snitched a little handful right off the sheet pan. It’s crunchy, sweet and utterly delicious! I’ve made it a couple more times and each time, I adjust it just a bit. The original recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of cinnamon which was a lot for our taste. I reduced the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon and added a pinch of cloves and ginger. I added some extra seeds and nuts and also reduced the coconut oil slightly, with great results.

Paleo Granola - how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!

We’ve been enjoying this granola on yogurt and oatmeal as well as snacking on it right out of the jar. And speaking of snacking, try this: slice a banana in half, lengthwise. Smear it with peanut or almond butter and scatter a handful of this Paleo Granola over the top. It’s fantastic, and also makes a delicious, quick, and very satisfying breakfast-on-the-run. This same little technique is also great on crisp apple slices.

Paleo Granola - how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!

So there you have it, probably the best granola you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And, dumb me, I would have turned my nose up at it, if it hadn’t been for my sister. Thanks Annie! I’m truly “eating my words” because I have a feeling that this recipe will go into our “All-time favorites” folder. But you know what? I really don’t mind eating my words, if it involves something as crazy delicious as this Paleo Granola.

Now, if I could just figure out a way to keep this nose of mine out of trouble! Hmmm..

P.S. If you’re following or interested in the Paleo diet, my friend Stacy, over at Wicked Good Kitchen blog is not only a paleo expert but has a ton of fabulous ideas and recipes.

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Paleo Granola
 
You'll be asking yourself, how can something so healthy be so... good? If you think you have a favorite granola recipe, this one will take you by surprise. It's delicious, super filling and EASY to throw together!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Paleo
Ingredients
  • 2 cups blanched, sliced almonds*
  • 1 cup pecans*
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds*
  • 1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)*
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds*
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed or flax seed meal, you can also use almond meal in place of the flax
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon**
  • ½ teaspoon cloves**
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger**
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • ¾ to 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275˚F. Lightly grease a sheet pan or, for easy clean up, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. If you use foil, lightly grease it.
  2. Combine all the nuts and seeds as well as the coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Over low heat, combine honey and coconut oil until heated through. (You can also heat the honey and coconut oil in the microwave on high heat for 90 seconds.) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cloves, ginger and salt.
  4. Pour over nut/seed mixture and mix well. Be sure to scrape all the good honey/oil mixture that's left in the bowl. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 45- 60 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes to keep granola at the edges of the pan from burning. Watch carefully after 45 minutes as ovens vary. Once the granola is a nice golden brown, remove it from oven and allow to cool**.
  6. Add dried fruit after granola has cooled.
Notes
*Feel free to experiment with different types of nuts and seeds. Keep the total proportion about the same but have fun with your favorites. A favorite combination of ours is 2 cups sliced almonds, 2 cups slivered almonds, 1 cup broken up pecans, 1 cup sunflower seeds and ½ cups sesame seeds.
**The spices are quite flexible. We like this combination but you could also use nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice in amounts to suit your taste.
Sometimes I make it with no spices, just a little extra vanilla, it's wonderful that way too!
One last thing, if you like your granola more clumpy, don't stir it right after it comes out of the oven. Just let it cool on the sheet pan and then break it apart. If you like it more loose, give it a good stir when it comes out of the oven and again after about 10 minutes.

 

  • Consumer Reports: Dairy Case Junk Food


76 thoughts on “Paleo Granola”

  • I’ve been using this recipe for about 8 months now, making all kinds of combinations from whatever I had on-hand. Its so yummy! Im chomping on some right now on top of my yogurt. This week’s combination is pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, coconut flakes and TJ’s dried berries added after baking. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’m enjoying this granola without the dried fruit, both alone or with milk. I’m wondering just how many servings you think this makes up and at what serving size (1/4 C., 1/2 C.) as the recipe dictates. Thanks!

  • I have been paleo for 5 years. Today I made a double batch of your recipe, having faith in your ingredient list. Real food ingredients are not cheap, so recognizing the recipe will turn out, and having family actually eat it is sometimes quite difficult. I changed the nuts based on what I had on hand, and I used four different types of dried fruit. My family can tolerate butter, so if anyone is wondering, the flavor is a fantastic accompaniment to your list of ingredients. I like clumped granola so I didn’t stir it at all. I also added the dried fruit before baking, and it turned out wonderful. I cooked the first batch for the full 60 minutes. Which was too much. Fifty five minutes was perfect. I’m eating a bowl with fresh cow’s cream as I write this, absolutely wonderful. Thank you for the recipe. It’s easy and just as good as it looks!!!

    • Hi Jess, I make it and, after it’s cool, transfer it to pint or quart size jars. If it’s just Scott and I, I use pint size jars but if I’m having guests, I’ll use a larger jars. I keep one out and freeze the rest. When my jar in the pantry is running low, I bring out another one from the freezer. That way it’s always fresh. Nuts can get rancid so I don’t like to keep it in the pantry longer than 7-10 days.

  • I just made this and it is wonderful. I put it in our acai bowls along with fresh fruit and it was so good! One quick question….how do you store it, refrigerator or pantry? Thank you for this fabulous new favorite.

  • thank you for sharing this recipe. I modified it to use what i had on-hand (nuts, fruit) it was SOOOOOO awesome.

  • hi, I started making this recipe a few months ago and it’s one of my favorite things! however, I recently started using my fitness pal and plugged it in and was absolutely astounded with the results. a single serving has 629 calories and 52 grams of fat! even though some of the fat is mono/polyunsaturated, more than 10 grams are saturated fat. I’m only commenting this because if anyone is trying to watch their macros (or fat intake in general), I would caution you to be vigilant about how much of this super yummy granola you have. for some people (me included) 52 grams of fat is more than my daily fat intake, and you could easily blow it all in a snack! even though it’s not UNhealthy, it doesn’t sound like the healthiest snack choice either.

    • Thanks for your comment Natalie. Yes,nuts are innately high in calories. We have this granola most mornings, but only a small (couple tablespoons) amount. Control and common sense are always the watch words with anything that tastes this good, right?

  • I was never a big cereal eater before I went grain free and started eating healthier. Man oh man I cannot get enough of this granola in a big bowl drowned in raw milk! I followed the recipe you put in the notes and it’s so delicious! Even kept me going on my drive from Wisconsin to Montana, and back.

  • my name is anne and i have lived in australia for 32 years.i come from nz but dont like the cold.i wanted to thank you for your fabulous recipes.i like to make things that i fling together and my daughter calls them,mums concoctions.sometimes they dont turn out so well but are still edible.your recipes are easy and dont seem to be expensive.i am so glad that i clicked into one of them on pinterest as i would never have found you otherwise.thanks a lot.

    • Anne, Scott and I are so glad you found The Café! Welcome! Much of the reason that we began blogging five years ago was because our grown up kids kept asking for a record of my concoctions!

  • Just out of pure laziness I am wondering if you or anyone has done up the nutritional info this? I could/probably will go through and add/divide but if someone already had it done that would be so great. I just made this last night and it is SO GOOD. I added some oats and didn’t have any pecans. I added dried cranberries, golden raisins, and dried papaya. YUM! Thanks 🙂

  • This stays in my cabinet I have it everyday and I make it for my married kids too. Love it Chris thank you for another awesome recipe.

  • I made this last night. It is very good. Just make sure not to over cook it. I felt like mine was I little over cooked at the 45 min. Watch for its colour. Don’t let the wetness of it fool you. When it cools it will dry and harden nicely.

  • This recipe sounds wonderful!!! I’m definitely going to make this one. Do I need to store this in the refrigerator ? How long does the granola keep fresh before it goes stale?

  • Thank you of sharing this recipe! My granola turned out perfectly. I plan to put some in small mason jars and give them away as gifts so I added white mini-chocolate chips for a more festive appearance.

  • Made this yesterday however next time taking the pepitas out. They took over the taste of the granola and gave a funny after taste which was unfortunate as I loved all the other flavours and ingredients. This recipe was so quick to do as well.

  • I have been searching for a granola mix, this was amazing. I made a few adjustments such as macadamia nuts and extra coconut instead of pecans and walnuts and I didn’t have any ginger in. I also didn’t have any sesame in but overall delicious, you need to watch it though, it was in for 60 mins and I checked at 45 it was fine, 60 its a little burnt, still tastes good but would only of needed the 45-50 mins 🙂 thanks so much, I have missed cereal.

    • Thanks for your feedback Natalie, I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit to take different ovens into consideration. So happy you enjoyed the granola, we’re having some this morning for breakfast! 🙂

    • Hi Kellie! I keep a small jar in the cupboard and the rest in the freezer. It’s fine in the cupboard for up to a week or so. When the jar is empty, I just pull some more out of the freezer at night and it’s perfect by morning. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Hi Chris. I am planning to make this delicious sounding granola. Just one question – at what point do you add the flaked coconut? Maybe I missed it, but I’ve read the recipe through and I don’t find it. Thanks!

  • I think I would have been a good forager of nuts and seeds if I had lived in the paleolithic era. I love them and try to include a few nuts and seeds in my diet every day. Frankly, I never new what paleo stood for in the paleo diet – now I know 🙂 This granola sounds wonderful and I love the ground ginger in this recipe.

  • With all the sugar floating around here I have been very curious about paleo. However, like you I don’t want to give up my whole grains and tubers. When I track down some sulfite free dried fruit this granola will be all mine!

  • I love all of the crunchies in this! My nephew is all about the paleo diet, and he’s one of the healthiest people I know. I’m with you…moderation is the key! I’d love this on my yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast in the morning. 🙂

  • Chris, the granola has cooled enough that I just spooned some over yogurt and my-oh-my, is it ever fabulous! I have a favorite granola recipe I make, but this trumps it. It’s nearly the same as my other recipe except the oats are omitted, but I really like the crunchiness with all those nuts and seeds. Yum!!

  • Uh, oh. I love granola. Especially homemade granola. And if you say this is the best, I know it is terrific!! And all those nuts and seeds??? Swooning.

  • I hate to mention, but … I have to. At the beginning of your post you stated the rules for the “Paleo diet”, and said that you would not like it. Then you went on to talk about how you are surprised you actually like this “Paleo Granola”… After making it, posting the recipe, and talking about the ironies of names, words &such, I am surprised that you didn’t mention that this “Paleo Granola” is “Paleo” in name only. I guess that you must not have noticed, as you did state you were surprised that you actually liked this “Paleo” granola. If the rules for the diet are correct, it should not be surprsing that you like this recipe, as “Paleo” it is not. The irony lies in that this granola is named and considered “Paleo” ..it contains salt. I would be willing to venture that coconut oil, matter how natural, is not technically “Paleo” either. Though I am just guessing on this one. I hate to be a spoil-sport, but.. you thought you wouldn’t like it in the first place, right?

    • Hi Shannon,

      Yup, it’s true, I have to eat my words so many times. And you’re also correct that I did adapt this just a bit to our preferences. That’s one of my favorite parts of cooking!

      But I do have to say,like any other diet, paleo has the so called “experts” differing on the rules. Some say no salt and some say just not iodized salt.

      This is what one paleo proponent says about salt: Salt: Do not use iodized salt, go for sea salt instead if you need it. I say this based on the fact that sea salt requires less processing, not because of the iodine. You can have a little salt, but as salt was not common in the Paleo era, it should not be common in your diet.

      Coconut oil is definitely exceptable, in fact it’s many paleo’s favorite oil. Here’s what they say about oil. Yes to Oils: Good oils to use (and use them plenty) include coconut (our favorite for cooking), palm, avocado, sesame, grape seed, and olive oil. Avoid corn, cottonseed, peanut, soybean, rice bran, and wheat germ oils. Avoid any foods made with these oils (yes, that means in foods like chips and mayo…whether it is organic or not).

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I love hearing from different points of view. It keeps me on my toes.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris

  • I’m with Angie – I’ve never understood why grains and legumes are not allowed on the Paleo diet. They sure are lucky this granola is approved because it looks amazing! Beautiful combination of all the naturally great ingredients that we love!

  • I can relate to a lot of what you said. Especially the blog part. 🙂 I do have to say that Paleo leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of a crazy relative who is super Paleo……but I will definitely try this. I see this as a delicious snack, Love the banana/peanut butter idea!

  • Beautiful photography! Balance with diet is definitely the key, isn’t it Chris? Thank goodness for sisters! I’m so glad your sister turned you on to Paleo Granola. It’s scrumptious. At our house both paleo granola and paleo porridge are popular, and I cannot wait to try your recipe! It is amazing how you can make granola with less oil…whether traditional or paleo. Sometimes a little apple butter, apple sauce or pumpkin butter is fun to add, too, along with spices. Thank you for mentioning my blog, my friend. You are so sweet! Definitely pinning (and making) this wonderful granola! xo

  • I just love your blog and your recipes, and this granola looks deelish for sure!! I will definitely be making it very soon, probably with my favorite dried fruit — cherries, yum! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  • I have granola and yogurt every morning for breakfast. Your recipes looks so much more interesting than mine, Chris. I’m going to try it for sure. I’m not sure I understand the whole paleo thing, but if this is an example of it I think I would like it.

  • It looks mouth watering, and that is the first time I have said that about granola! In fact, I used to make granola all the time when I was a young mom. My brother-in-law went on a paleo diet years ago.

  • I may be missing something – but how much flax seed/almond meal. Can’t wait to make. Due to my daughter’s tastbuds, will make it non-paleo and sub oatmeal for coconut. Should still be delish (and healthy, in moderation). Thank you.

  • I never understood why legume ain’t allowed in paleo… I prefer a balanced diet. Your granola looks superb!

  • Balance describes our diet too. Well, until we splurge on something and become unbalanced. 😉 Anyway, not much of a granola person, but really like this paleo granola. So much flavor! Loads of fun textures. And the photographs are gorgeous! Really nice recipe (and fun post). Thanks.

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