LC Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly Granola Note
This paleo granola recipe is swell for on-the-go breakfasts, any-time-of-day noshes, midnight munchies, and all manner of stroller snacks. And you won’t find a single rolled oat it it. Or speck of grain. Or smidgen of butter. What you will find, however, is lots of nuts and sweetly crunchy goodness galore.
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes about 8 cups
Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roughly chop the almonds, cashews, pistachios, and hazelnuts. Combine the chopped nuts with the coconut and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Combine the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a small pan over low heat, stirring until well combined. Pour the warm liquid over the nut mixture and stir to coat.
Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet (it’ll be 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick or so) and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven, stir in the cherries and citrus zest, if using, and spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet. Let it cool completely, about 30 minutes. The granola will harden slightly into a brittle-like consistency as it cools.
Break the granola into pieces and pack it in a resealable container. It will keep for about 2 weeks. (Hah! As if it’ll last that long. Good luck even making it the 30 minutes it takes to cool.)
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I think granola just found it’s way back into our kitchen with this recipe. Normally granola is a treat—something we might buy or be served when traveling, artisan-made in small, paradise vacation locales with tropical fruits, nuts, or some other local twist. A small bit comes home, a last taste of vacation, but then we go back to our no-granola pantry. We made muesli at home for years, until we gave it up (raw oats didn’t agree with me) and since then we're pretty much a no-cereal household. But this granola is almost like a praline, though not as sweet. And that definitely has a place in our lives, maybe as a topping on fruit and yogurt for breakfast or some thick Greek-style yogurt or other dessert-like rice pudding or, dare I say, ice cream! So while it wasn’t so important for me that this be a paleo recipe, I liked the idea of granola without oats or barley.
I organized my ingredients while the oven was heating, shelled the pistachios, then toasted and remove most of the hazelnut skins, but did not toast them quite as far as you might normally because I knew it was going to go back in the oven. While I made this nut mixture exactly as specified by the recipe, if you were short of one of the nuts or didn’t like them you could easily adjust as long as the total amount remained the same. I was a bit short on dried cherries, so I made up the difference with dried cranberries, and added the zest of a small Meyer lemon as well as from a Sumo tangerine. Luckily this all fit a half-sheet pan (my largest, and the largest that would fit in my oven). After 45 minutes (stirring and leveling every 15), it seemed to need a little more time so I gave it another 10 minutes, then removed it from the oven and let it completely cool for nearly an hour. While it was not absolutely cold at that point, I had to pack it up for fear that willing tasters were going to demolish it! It is just sweet enough yet not cloying, and I don't think we will need to worry whether it will keep for 2 weeks. There is just no way it will last that long. It is terrific!
I used the parchment to lift and break it up, and it yielded about 2 quarts. Great recipe for knowing exactly what is in your granola and choosing the best ingredients. Use it as a roadmap, play with the mix, maybe even slightly reduce the coconut oil and honey though it seems well balanced.
Paleo, schmaleo. Can we just forget about the word "paleo" in this recipe title? And while we're at it, let's just sidestep the whole question of rather this version of granola is better or worse for you than the regular kind. Instead, let's get to the crux of the matter. Does it taste good? And the answer to that is a resounding yes. Even from a self-proclaimed granola-hater like me. This is a great snacking granola. It's basically candied nuts, with some fruit and coconut thrown in. What's not to like about that? I used a mix of dried berries that was mostly cherries for the fruit, and that was great, but I keep thinking it would be nice to try some variations, like maybe dried apricots. I did add the optional orange zest. My household was of mixed opinion on that. I liked it, while my husband thought the flavor of the zest was too dominant. Since he's the primary granola consumer in the house, I'll probably leave it out next time. The granola was very easy to break up. All it needed was a gentle crumbling with my hands.