We were so lucky to have a rain-free day this weekend. A little rain doesn’t stop us, of course — we Oregonians are practically waterproof — but it was lovely to have a break from the drizzle.
Getting out and about in the autumn weather makes me wistful for the early days of our marriage. At the time, my husband and I lived in Minneapolis. As footloose newlyweds, we had rather more free time, and would occasionally pack some snacks and spend an afternoon just biking and exploring the Twin Cities.
While we aren’t quite so fancy free anymore, I still love snack food. At the beginning of my paleo journey, I had just gotten into making homemade granola, and I thought I had really hit my stride. While going paleo has had many more benefits than drawbacks, losing that crunchy, chewy treat was a disappointment.
Ironically, I know there are tons of paleo granola recipes out there — I own several cookbooks that include them — yet none of them felt quite right to me. I guess I just needed to figure this one out for myself. I was encouraged by a trip to the store for school snacks (the littlest girl takes lunch to school). While shopping, I found some grain free granola*. I tried one and thought it was really good, but I knew I wouldn’t want to spend that much every time. So into the kitchen I went.
This combination is delicious, and is definitely a money saver. Sprinkle some on yogurt, if you dig that kind of thing. Or have it with whatever milk you prefer. Homemade granola also has the advantage of making your house smell phenomenal. If you have kids, double the batch. Trust me on this.
Best of all is how adaptable granola is. Change the spice, or the types of nuts and seeds, or the fruit as you see fit. In this cool season, I’m loving this combination of cocoa with apples, raisins and allspice, but I’m envisioning cranberries, clove and dried orange, or golden raisins, cinnamon and candied ginger when it gets colder… whatever floats your boat. Or pedals your bike, as the case may be.
- 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup dried apples, chopped (about 4 rings)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, coconut, allspice, cocoa powder and coconut sugar in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine. Continue stirring, pouring in the melted coconut oil as you do so.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper; pour the granola onto the sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove granola from the oven, stir thoroughly, and replace baking sheet in the oven. Bake for another 3-5 minutes (watch it closely; granola can get very toasted very quickly). Remove from oven.
- Pour the granola back into the bowl. While still warm, add the chopped dried apples and raisins; stir thoroughly. Allow granola to cool before serving.
* = Affiliate link.