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.

coconut hot cocoa mix — for your DIY healthy holiday giving

diy hot cocoa mix

There’s nothing quite like coming home on a cold day and curling up with a cup of hot cocoa. It hits all the right creamy, warm, and chocolatey notes to satisfy and savor all winter long. I’ve tried making non-dairy cocoa mixes before, and stirred them into warm almond or coconut milk — but they always turned out a little powdery and underwhelming. When I saw coconut milk powder in the baking section of Whole Foods, I knew it was the secret ingredient needed to make a perfect dairy free cocoa mix.

Luckily, I was right. The resulting cup of hot cocoa, is creamy, rich, decadent and just sweet enough. If you make a big batch ahead of time, it eliminates the need for processed store-bought cocoa mixes that are full of refined sugar, chemicals, and stabilizers.

Feel free to customize the mix to your liking. Add a little more coconut sugar if you prefer a sweet cup of cocoa. I love using coconut sugar in this mix as it’s mineral rich, low-glycemic, and subtly sweet. You can also spice things up a bit by adding in ground cinnamon, cardamom, ginger – or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a twist on a Mexican hot chocolate.

Make a cup for yourself, or better yet, whip up a big batch to share with your nearest and dearest. Tis the season!

Coconut Hot Cocoa Mix – Single Serving


1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut milk powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar


Add all ingredients to a mug and add 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.

+ To make in large quantities, whisk together equal parts cocoa powder, coconut milk powder, and coconut sugar. Store in an airtight container.

+ Customize your cocoa by adding cinnamon, cardamom and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick.