the sparkly life: This Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo Granola Will Change Your Life

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

This Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo Granola Will Change Your Life

This granola has changed my life. I know that's a big statement, but sorry--it's true. Here's how: As I've mentioned before, I started following the Paleo diet recently, which means no grains, among other things like no dairy and no refined sugar. Out of all the foods I was giving up, I expected to miss pasta the most (considering my body was likely around 85 percent pasta at the time due to the amount of it I consumed). But shockingly, giving up pasta hasn't been too hard. Weirdly, one of the toughest things? I've been missing cereal.

Oh, cereal. I used to eat a ton of your comforting, stupid-easy, convenient goodness. Needed a fast breakfast? Cereal. Feel like a quick snack? Cereal. Didn't feel like cooking anything for dinner and out of pasta? Cereal! You get the picture.

So, I was skeptical, but hopeful, when I saw the recipe for this grain-free granola few weeks ago on Felicia's blog. I made it soon after, and OH MY GOD. You guys, it's insanely good. And not like "I'm-on-a-strict-diet-so-basically-anything-decent-takes-good" good. No. You don't have to be Paleo or gluten-free to love it. But if you're Paleo or gluten-free, it will make you want to cry with happiness.

I now make a double batch every week and my husband and I tear through it in just a few days. It's a great quick snack, but what I especially love it for is that it makes an amazing cereal! I eat it as breakfast or as a snack with berries and unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it tastes incredible.

It's also incredibly easy to make. It's basically just throwing stuff in a bowl and then plopping it on a cookie sheet. The most time-consuming part by far is chopping up the dates. (Does anyone know if you can buy bags of chopped dates? If so, I need those!)

Make it, love it, and then come back and tell me how obsessed you've become, too. 

GRAIN-FREE GRANOLA (Recipe from The Paleo Kitchen, modified via love. life. eat. and slightly modified further by me)

1 cup sliced almonds (recipe calls for blanched, sliced almonds but I use regular sliced)
1 cup chopped pecans
4 pitted dates, chopped
3 dried figs, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond flour/meal
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
a few shakes of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, adding the vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut oil last. Combine and then transfer the mixture to the baking sheet, spreading it out in a thin, even layer. 

Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking process. The granola will still be a bit soft when you remove it from the oven and won't look quite "done." That's okay! Let it sit and cool completely before serving--it will harden.

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