Super Delicious and Easy Paleo Granola!!

With switching to a mostly Paleo lifestyle, there just aren’t a lot of things that can satisfy my cravings for crunchy things. Yes, there are nuts and fresh veggies, but those can get really old after awhile. In fact, I’ve been feeling a little bored with food lately. So, I’m on a quest to liven things up a bit and try some new recipes, instead of our usual go-to recipes.

One of my favorite crunchy snacks is granola. I have made a couple different types of Paleo granola – a pumpkin spice paleo granola and apple pie paleo – both are very good. But I was needing something completely different, so I tried a new recipe last night and it currently is our new favorite!!

The great thing about making Paleo granola is that you can change it up based on what you have and what you like in it!  Paleo granola is always made up of nuts, seeds, either honey or maple syrup and some spices. The recipe I used last night was a very basic recipe, but I tweaked it a little bit and I love how it turned out!

When I bake, I almost always double the recipes so that there is plenty to last for a while. If I’m baking bread or muffins, I will freeze whatever we don’t eat right away, so that we can pull one out and pop it in the microwave for a quick snack or breakfast. Another reason I double recipes, is that it’s a lot of work to get everything out and to clean it all up! I love to bake, but I don’t enjoy all the clean up!

When making this recipe, I doubled the ingredients and changed the type of nuts and seeds, but kept the proportions the same. So the recipe I was using called for 1 cup raw almonds, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell),  and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes.  This is a total of 3 cups. I had a bunch a almond pulp (what is leftover when you make your own almond milk) in my freezer that I wanted to use, so I used 2 1/2 cups of almond pulp,  1 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cups raw pecans, 1/2 cup raw walnuts, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup coconut flakes to total 6 cups.  I put all of the nuts and seeds in the food processor until they were all mixed together. *If you don’t happen to have almond pulp on hand (which I would assume most people don’t!), just use regular raw almonds and grind them pretty fine. *

Paleo Granola-1

Then, I transferred the nuts and seed combination to a large bowl and added the coconut flakes. In a smaller bowl, I mixed together 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp salt. I decided to use some maple syrup instead of all honey, because I really like the flavor that maple syrup gives to granola. I added the salt here instead of at the end like the recipe says to do, only because I misread the recipe. I think it turned out fine adding it here. I put this bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds to melt the oil mixture, stirred it up, and poured it into the larger bowl with the nuts, seeds and coconut flakes.

Paleo Granola-2

I stirred the 2 mixtures up then spread them on 2 parchment lined baking sheets. The recipe says to bake the granola for 20-25 minutes, but mine took about 50 minutes! I think the almond pulp added a lot of moisture that took longer to dry out while baking. So, I would just set your timer for 15 minutes, stir, then check and stir every 10 minutes to be sure it bakes to a nice golden brown color.

Paleo Granola-3

When it was done, I pressed raisins and Craisins into the granola and resisted the urge to mix it all up. (I did not double the dried fruit, because I don’t like a lot of dried fruit in my granola). It was important for it to cool all pressed together like this, so that after about 15-20 minutes, it broke into nice crumbly granola pieces! Mine definitely was a lot more crumbly with fewer large chunks like the original recipe due to the fact that I used almond pulp instead of almonds, but I really like it this way!

Paleo Granola-4 Paleo Granola-5

The 2nd pan I sprinkled cinnamon on top to see if I would like it with or without cinnamon. My vote – with cinnamon. Next time, I will add cinnamon to the mixture before spreading it out to bake.

This granola is so addicting, you might wish you never read this post. My husband and I couldn’t resist snacking on it every time we passed by it last night. Finally, we just gave in and committed to having a bowl of So Delicious Coconut Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with this granola on top. It was such a delicious combination…we had to keep spooning additional granola on top of the ice cream so that there was enough granola for every bite of ice cream!

Here is the original recipe (http://www.paleocupboard.com/granola.html). My modifications are in red

PALEO GRANOLA
Ingredients:
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1 cup raw cashews
– 1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds – I used 1/4 cup
– 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
– 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– 1/2 cup raw honey
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tsp. sea salt
– 1 cup raisins (or your favorite dried fruit)
For my granola (recipe doubled), I used:
– 2 1/2 cups almond pulp
– 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
– 1/2 cups raw pecans
– 1/2 cup raw walnuts
– 1/4 cup sesame seeds
– 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
– 1/2 cup coconut flakes
– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 1/2 cup raw honey 
– 1/2 cup raw maple syrup
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 tsp. sea salt
– 1/2 cup raisins
– 1/2 cup craisins
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 275 F. Place the almonds, cashews and coconut flakes in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to break into smaller chunks.
2. Microwave the coconut oil, raw honey and vanilla extract together in a medium sized mixing bowl for about 30-45 seconds. Add the seeds, nuts and coconut flakes and stir to coat.
3. Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and add the raisins and sprinkle with sea salt, pressing the mixture together to form a flat surface (see photo below).
4. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes or until hardened, and then break into chunks and enjoy.

*I like to store my homemade granola in the fridge so that it stays fresh and crispy!  

Enjoy!!  A bowl of this granola with almond milk poured over it like cereal is sounding really yummy right now!

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