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
 
Ingredients:
 
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
 
Procedure:
 
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.

cauliflower is the new kale — try it in this 4 ingredient soup

IMG_3251

Truth be told, cauliflower is my favorite vegetable. I particularly love to roast it with olive oil and salt until it becomes a caramelized, crispy treat. But what makes it so great, is its versatility. You can mash it, rice it, and recently I have even made grain-free tortillas with it. So while cauliflower may not have the same rich nutrient density as kale, its definitely becoming a culinary darling as of late by starring on restaurant menus, in cookbooks, and hopefully – in your kitchen.

I always start making more soups come fall, and wanted to make a creamy, comforting soup without all the starch and cream. I made this recipe with all the ‘optional’ elements, so it technically was more than three ingredients… but the point is you can make a super simple and flavorful version with an onion, cauliflower, and a bit of olive oil and salt. I also think this soup would be delicious by adding a few teaspoons of curry powder when sauteeing the onion.

I prefer soups with a little texture, so I puree about half of the soup so there are still some chunks of cauliflower throughout. But if you’d like, you can puree the whole pot.

If you’re looking for a heartier seasonal soup, try this cauliflower and kale soup I shared last year.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
5-6 cups water
splash of sherry, sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped + more for garnish (optional)
fresh ground pepper, turkish crushed red peppers (maras or allepo) for garnish (optional)

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the florets from 1 head of cauliflower on baking sheet, coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 40-45 minutes, until florets are caramelized and cooked through.

Meanwhile, begin to prepare soup. Heat a large stockpot and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining head of cauliflower, stir, and add water. Occasionally stir and break up florets with a wooden spoon. Let simmer until cauliflower softens.

When roasted cauliflower is finished, add it to the pot and sitr. Turn off heat, and add a splash of sherry, vinegar, or lemon. Carefully add 3 cups of soup to blender. Blend until creamy and return to pot. Add in chopped fresh thyme. Serve in bowl and garnish if desired.

If you’d like a creamier soup, puree the whole pot.

Yield: 6-8 servings