make your mornings better — with this simple paleo granola recipe

best simple paleo granola recipe

Most people I know, love granola. When it’s done right, it’s crunchy, savory, sweet, and satisfying. The problem with most granolas is that they are usually pretty carbohydrate and sugar heavy. As more people are adopting elements of a paleo diet (gluten and grain-free), so I set out to create a granola recipe to compliment the lifestyle.

The problem that I’ve found with many of the store bought paleo granolas is that they are too clustery – great for snacking, but not really as a topping. They’re often pretty dried out and tough to chew. I used my beloved best ever granola recipe as a guide, but swapped out the grains with nuts, seeds, and coconut. The result may be even better than the original — and easier to make (no popping amaranth).

I love using sunflower seeds in this recipe, because their shape naturally mimics that of an oat. By cooking them low and slow, they get golden, crunchy and delicious. I also pulse the nuts in the food processor so they have a smaller, more uniform shape. I like using almonds and pecans (I think it was what I had on hand), but feel free to swap in any of your favorites. Hazelnuts or cashews would both be good options.

I shared this recipe with my ‘Paleo 101’ cooking class last month and it was a clear winner. Hope you enjoy it the same.

Cinnamon Spiced Almond-Coconut Granola
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil (liquefied)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds
½ cup pecans
1 cup large coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 275 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Mix maple syrup, coconut oil, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside. 
Add sunflower seeds to a large bowl.  Add almonds and pecans to a food processor.  Pulse to rough chop.  Add coconut flakes and pulse again until broken down.  Add to sunflower seeds.
Pour chia seed mixture over seeds and nuts, mix well to coat.  Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. 
Bake for 20 minutes.  Use a wooden spoon to stir on baking sheet.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes, as the granola will get crispy as it sits.

savor the last of summer – with this spiced peach smoothie parfait



It’s only a matter of time before the chilly days of fall are upon us. We’ll be saying goodbye to long sunny days – and also to the abundance of summer produce. Now is the time to indulge in farm fresh corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches. Sure, we can now find them year round, but they never taste quite as amazing as during their seasonal peak – so eat ’em up!

I recently found myself with more peaches than I knew what to do with. My go-to method of using up produce? Toss it in the blender. Around this time of the year, I tend to get ‘smoothie burnout’. I just feel like chewing something rather than slurping my meals down. I wanted to create something with a thicker consistency that I could actually eat (instead of drink).

I used a perfectly plump peach and a ripe banana that I froze (specifically to use in smoothies or ice cream). A little almond butter lends a creamy, rich texture and a spike of cinnamon and cardamom add a healthy dose of antioxidants and a warming touch.

Because there isn’t any liquid, the ‘smoothie’ has a thicker – almost yogurt-like – consistency. Top with your favorite granola – and you have a sweet treat that will help you to seamlessly transition into the new season.


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Spiced Peach Smoothie Parfait


1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon almond butter
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons granola


Place all ingredients to blender; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl or glass and top with granola. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 serving


+ I like to enjoy this as a sweet mid-afternoon treat or dessert. It would also be a great breakfast. Experiment with adding a hemp or brown rice protein for an energy boost. Don’t have a banana frozen? Use a fresh one and add a few pieces of ice.