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Why would I want to make grain-free granola?

Around Christmas time, way back when in December, I found myself on a paleo food blog. I knew the gist of the paleo “diet”, but this blog had me consumed. Look at all of these wonderful things to eat! This doesn’t look like a diet at all. And in fact, paleo folks don’t call it a diet but rather a lifestyle. And as I read the science behind it, it started making sense. Enough sense that I decided to try it out. So here’s the short and fast version…

Your body isn’t designed to efficiently use a lot of the food we put in it; grains, sugars, most dairy, legumes, and chemically processed stuff. And evidence of that can be found in obesity, diabetes, peanut allergies, gluten allergies, and lactose intolerance (pretty common stuff, eh?). Instead you should model your diet more like that of our lean and muscular ancestors (cavemen). Eat meat, seafood, lots of vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds. Done.

After my varsity athlete days in high school, I learned quickly that my adult body’s metabolism wasn’t going to keep up with my eating habits. And honestly, since then it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep my weight down. I’ve ate a loose paleo diet from Christmas to January and steadily lost 12 pounds. Even better, I have more energy, and I didn’t feel hungry all the time. I felt so good I wanted to give the Whole30 challenge a go, and Emily joined in too! I’m days away from day 30 and I feel, dare I say, awesome.

I’m still no expert on it. But here are some people that are…
Nom Nom Paleo
Eat Drink Paleo
The Healthy Foodie
The Clothes Make The Girl

This fantastic granola came from Irey’s kitchen at Eat Drink Paleo.


  • 2 cups mixed almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia and brazil nuts – I had a big container of a similar mixture
  • 1 cup dried plums or dried cherries, cranberries or apricots – I used cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, activated if possible)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut or almond meal – I used almond flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (if you have them)
  • 1-2 tbsps chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 5-6 tbsp honey, rice malt syrup, maple syrup or a little less coconut syrup (it’s usually more concentrated) – I used some raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional but very nice: zest of 1 orange – I used some orange extract
  • I also added some freeze dried strawberries and blueberries
  • You will need a food processor or some other way to break the nuts into smaller crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 330°.
  2. Add whole nuts and dried fruit to a food processor. Pulse until you get a variety of sizes in your clumps, similar to a consistency in regular granola.
  3. Mix processed nuts with all the other ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down the clumps, which will form when coconut oil and honey come into contact with dry ingredients. It’s ok if some of them remain unbroken.
  4. Line a deep roasting tray with parchment.. Spread the mix into a tray and flatten with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes in total or until golden brown on top. At minute 10, give it a stir to bake more surfaces.
  6. Remove and let it cool completely. Patience!
  7. Now you can break it all up into bite-sized crumbles. I mixed in the freeze dried berries at this point and stored it in large mason jars. I filled two quart sized jars with this tasty snack.

This “cereal” is more delicious and satisfying than anything I’ve ever eaten from a box. For me, it’s totally worth the preparation. To stick with the paleo theme, I eat it with some almond milk, or snack on a handle of crumbles.