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.

elewa farm dinner


Elewa Farm Dinner
August, 29 2009

local cheeses with crostini, fresh figs, & grapes

summer garden greens– radish, snap peas, feta, & fresh herbs

grass-fed beef skirt steak with salsa verde
& green bean-tomato salad

roasted baby potatoes with rosemary & garlic

creamy sweet corn w/ poblano peppers & chives

warrm peach-berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream

It may have an unseasonably chilly August evening, but that did not deter the scheduled al fresco ‘Green Gourmet’ dinner at Elewa Farm. Elewa, situated on a 16-acre parcel of land in Lake Forest, Illinois, is a preservation center with a working farm. Being a city resident, the lush country property was a dream setting for a dinner emphasizing local and seasonal produce.

Since the markets are abound with variety and ingredients at their peak freshness, the menu was decidedly uncomplicated. Fresh lettuces, herbs, and potatoes were harvested that morning straight from Elewa’s farm. The corn, green beans, tomatoes, snap peas, and peaches were hand selected from the Green City Market in Lincoln Park.

Guests cozied up in their fall sweatshirts & jackets to feast on the late-summer meal prepared in the Kitchen Learning Center. While everything tasted fresh and delicious, there wasn’t a lick of the Creamy Corn with Poblanos and Chives left. One guest claimed, “I’m not a corn eater, but I could have eaten the entire bowl!” Enjoy the deliciously simple recipe below.

Creamy Sweet Corn with Poblanos and Chives
Serves: 8-10

3 poblano peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
10-12 ears of corn, shucked with kernels removed
1 cup sour cream, organic if available
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablspoon fresh chives, minced

1. Cut poblano peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the peppers; use hands to evenly cover. Place under broiler for 10-12 minutes (more or less depending on the broiler) until the skin is blackened & begin to bubble. Use tongs to place the halved peppers into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, the skins should easily peel from the peppers. Peel, and finely chop. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add onion and saute until fragrant and translucent. Next, add poblano peppers and corn kernels. Saute for 5-6 minutes, until corn is cooked. Turn off heat, and transfer approximately 1 1/2 cups of the corn to a food processor. Add sour cream and process until blended.

3. Add the pureed creamy corn to the pan, and blend until combined. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chives before serving.