The last couple of years I’ve really gotten into making homemade gifts. This year my two homemade gifts were supposed to be this Paleo Granola Recipe and my Homemade Chinese Chili Oil.
My son, however, fell madly in love with this granola and pretty much forbid me from taking even one cluster out of our house. I promised him I would make another batch ASAP, but if you know any toddlers, you know they are not exactly always easy to reason with (understatement).
So, most of my homemade gift recipients wound up getting jars of the chili oil except for my immediate family, whom I gifted jars of homemade granola to under the Christmas tree. And, yep, just as expected, my son wound up claiming all of those as “his”.
If you are eating grain-free and miss the crunchy taste of cereal or granola, look no further. This granola is the answer. Crunchy and full of sweet clusters of mixed nuts, toasted coconut and sesame seeds, it truly resembles a more traditional granola.
- This makes a huge batch. You could easily halve it if you are making it for one or just store (once completely cool!) in airtight glass containers and only have to make it once in a while – it lasts and stays crunchy for up to one month.
- The “main” nut in this recipe is the raw cashews (since I use 1lb). I have tried this with raw walnuts in place of the cashews as well as raw almonds and both were terrific. I also think raw pecans would be good there!
- TIP: If you live near a Trader Joe’s, they have great prices on raw nuts. If not, try the bulk section of your natural foods store or local grocer and only buy what you need for the recipe to keep costs down!
- The serving size is based on 48 1/4-cup servings (at 5 Points Plus Each). If you want a larger 1/2-cup serving, you would have 24 1/2-cup servings (at 10 Points Plus Each).
- The almond meal is optional and for those who want more of a cluster. My family loves this either way but I know clusters really matter for some of you!
- The Points are the same with or without the optional 1/4 cup almond meal.
- 1 pound raw cashews, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces raw sliced almonds
- 4 ounces raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 ounces sesame seeds
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed meal (brown or golden)
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces sweetened, shaved coconut flakes
- ⅔ cup melted organic, virgin coconut oil
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup almond meal (optional – see NOTES)
- Move oven racks to the 2nd and 4th positions from the top and preheat oven to 325F. If you have a food processor (if not, chop by hand), pulse the hazelnuts and then the cashews until they are in small chunks. Do not over-process or they will be powdered. Combine the hazelnuts and cashews with the remaining dry ingredients (sliced almonds, sesame seeds, flax meal, palm sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, coconut and almond meal if using). Mix until well combined.
- In a measuring cup, measure ⅔ cup melted coconut oil with ⅓ cup maple syrup. Add vanilla and almond extract to the measuring cup and stir to mix. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture and use your hands to mix until evenly distributed. You could use a spoon or spatula but this is the kind of thing that is best mixed with clean hands so you can feel if the oil/sweetener mixture is well mixed.
- Spread half of the granola out on each baking sheet and spread out until you have one layer.
- Place in the oven and bake undisturbed for 15 minutes.
- Remove, use a spatula to mix around the granola and return to a single layer. Place back in the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool completely before serving or storing. Store in an airtight glass container for up to one month. Enjoy!