Paleo Granola

Gluten free, refined sugar-free paleo granola. This simple recipe incorporates nuts and seeds, plus – bonus points – you end up with huge granola clusters!

Gluten Free (and Paleo!) Granola

 

Do you ever get such a massive hankering for something crunchy that it can’t be contained, quenched, or satisfied with anything other than granola? This happens to me regularly. I go about my business eating my veggies and rice and salmon on a weekly basis, then all of a sudden, BOOM! Mega need for something hard to chew on.

When these savage cravings occur, I head to the bulk bins at the store and buy up all the nuts and seeds to make my own paleo granola that is free of refined sugar and grains. I love making granola myself because I have the ultimate control of how much sugar goes in, plus, I enjoy experimenting with various nuts, seeds, and flavors.

Gluten free (and Paleo!) Granola. Plus how to make ginormous granola clusters

 

So here’s my go-to paleo granola. It’s super straight-forward, incorporating ingredients you can buy in bulk from any grocery store. I love eating it with a splash of almond milk and fresh seasonal fruit. If you’re fine with dairy, this paleo granola makes for an amazing topping to yogurt!

Gluten free (and Paleo!) Granola. Plus how to make ginormous granola clusters

This granola has the perfect crispy crunch, plus you achieve huge granola clusters. Largely-sized clusters are a major plus in granola. No one likes a granola that is, in actuality, a glorified museli. Museli’s great. But granola without cluster is like a sailboat without sails, IMO.

I’ve granola-d a time or two, so I have granola wisdom to pass on:

  1. Use a variety of nuts and seeds. Raw walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seed…toss it all in!
  2. Use dried fruit and unsweetened coconut flakes. Both add natural sweetness and flavor without having to add processed sugar. Just be sure to use juice-sweetened dried fruit in order to keep this recipe paleo-friendly.
  3. Give your ingredients a good chop or run through the food processor. This will create itty bitty granola bits that make for great granola-ing.
  4. Use natural sweeteners. I used coconut sugar in my Walnut Granola Cluster recipe, honey in my Walnut & Date Granola recipe (and this one), and have also used pure maple syrup. Natural sweeteners a good granola make.
  5. Use an egg white and water. I know, it sounds strange. But it helps hold all of the ingredients together, and makes for a crispy granola with large clusters. We want the biggest clusters we can get.

So here’s how you make your gluten free (and paleo!) granola: 

How to make gluten free (and paleo) granola - plus how to make ginormous granola clusters

You gather your paleo-friendly granola ingredients, you granola gathering foo. Add the nutty and seedy ingredients to a blender or food processor. I used my Blendtec Designer Series Blender and processed for just a couple of seconds, grinding some of the nuts finely, and leaving many of the nuts chopped or whole. You can also use a food processor!

You whisk together the egg white and water in a big ol’ bowl, then add all of the ingredients and mix everything together reeeeeeal well. Then spread it all out on a baking sheet. And bake. Forever. Just kidding. But seriously, it feels like eternity. You end up with crispy holy mother clusters.

For those of you who are versed in paleo granola, you know the recipes are pretty nutterriffic. Which is rad for a nut-addicted girl like me. But paleo granola keeps you fuller than a regular granola, which can be an asset or a detriment depending on how you look at it. The way I see it, this granola is perfect for packing up and taking on a hike and great for a pre mountain biking breakfast.

Consider yourself warned and learned.

You know the drill. It’s crunch time!

Tools Used to Prepare Recipe:


Gluten Free (and Paleo!) Granola

Gluten Free (and Paleo!) Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 quarts of homemade granola
Author: Julia
Recipe updated 3/6/2015
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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the first 3 ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the nuts, but don’t grind them into a fine meal.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white with the water until bubbly and slightly foamy.
  4. Add the grapeseed oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to the egg white/water mixture and whisk together well.
  5. Pour the chopped nut mixture into the mixing bowl, along with the dried cranberries and shredded coconut. Stir everything well to make sure it is all coated.
  6. Spread the granola mixture evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy, stirring once after 10 minutes (see note)**.
  7. Remove granola from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes without stirring it – this is where the clustering happens, so be sure to not skip this step!!
  8. Use a spatula to get under the granola and release the large clusters.
  9. Once cool, store the granola in a 2-quart sealable glass jar.
  10. Eat granola with your favorite milk or yogurt and fruit

Recipe Notes

*You can also use olive oil or coconut oil

**Keep an eye on the granola while it is baking, as it can go from done to burned quickly. If you use pure maple syrup instead of honey, you will need to bake the granola for closer to 40 minutes.

Granola can be stored in a zip lock bag or jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Make a parfait using your favorite fruit and yogurt (to keep it paleo, use raw milk yogurt or coconut/almond milk yogurt)!

Blueberry and Granola Parfait with homemade #paleo granola

 

 

Paleo Granola - grain-free, made with nuts and seeds. Naturally sweetened and protein-packed #healthy #recipe #breakfast #paleo
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Comments

    1. Julia Post author

      Hope you try it! Paleo granola is awesome because of how flavorful and crunchy it is. Love me some oats, but an all-nut granola is amazeballs. 😉

      Reply
  1. Sharon

    This looks so tasty! Kind of like Quaker Harvest Crunch that my fella loves so much. I’ll be trying this our for sure. I love impressing him with homemade versions of things that taste soooo much better than the store bought. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Oh yeah, your hubby definitely needs to lay mouth on this granola. It’s super crunchy and the perfect amount of sweetness. He’ll be making doe eyes at you in no time 😉 Hope you had a fun weekend, Sharon!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’m sure it works marvelously without the water too, but I’ve never tried it without 😉 This granola has your name written all over it. Dessert hummus meets paleo granola?? Don’t mind if I do!!

      Reply
  2. Stephie @ EYHO

    Granola high five! I love your little blender trick. And since I’m happily blendtec-ing my life up right now…exsqueeze me while I pulse up all those nuts.

    Wait….

    Reply
  3. Laura @ Blogging Over Thyme

    I’ve heard amazing things about nut granolas! Definitely have to try this–it looks so crunchy and delicious! Also–the egg white trick is genius. I’m always picking out the clusters, so this will be life-changing.

    Reply
  4. Abby

    Crunch factor = 11 ! I can’t believe I’ve never made homemade granola…pshhh gotta change that asap, I love the coconut and cranberries.

    Reply
  5. Kari Peters

    Your method for making paleo granola is amazing, and I can’t wait to try it out! I’ve always hand chopped the nuts when I make granola, but your blender method is going to revolutionize my granola endeavors!

    Reply
  6. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    YES! Mamby Pamby Granola need not apply in my books. My hubs LOVES granola and he came home with a big box of store bought, sugar and oil laden crap the other day. I was like 🙁
    Now I am makin’ him some ‘o this healthy crunchy stuff. Pinned!

    Reply
      1. Julia Post author

        Hi Roxana, I put the cranberries in the oven and they stayed nice and mushy and didn’t turn rock solid. Probably because this granola is baked at a lower heat than usual and there’s a ton of it. If it were spread out and/or cooked at a higher temp, the cranberries would probably dry up. Anyway, you can add the cranberries in at the end if you’d like 🙂

        What were you thinking of using to replace the nuts? Since this recipe is almost entirely nuts, I’m thinking it’d be best to look at a different recipe rather than trying to replace all the nuts with something else. Let me know if you try the recipe and thanks for your interest!!

        Reply
        1. Roxana

          I just don’t like cashews and was going to use almonds- think that’s ok? Going to make tonight will let you know how it goes- thanks!

          Reply
          1. Julia Post author

            Oh I see, I thought you meant taking the nuts out altogether 😉 My bad! Yup, substituting cashews for almonds will work just fine 🙂 Hope you enjoy!!

            Reply
        2. Ronica

          Any chance you have other options for walnuts and cashews? I just found out that I am allergic to those 2. I’m guessing almonds? But what else would be wonderful with almonds? Thanks!

          Reply
          1. Julia Post author

            Hi Ronica,

            You can definitely do almonds, and as Monique mentioned, pecans are awesome in granola! Although I’ve never tried them in granola, I think pistachios would be a fun one, too. 😉 Hope you enjoy!! xo

            Reply
  7. Sheridan

    I made this today – so tasty and that crunch factor… wow! I added in some chopped almonds and dates for even more flavour. And the cluster thing really worked. Loving it!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sheridan! My favorite part about the granola is how ridiculously crunchy it is without being hard…nice and crispy without the risk of breaking a tooth, lol! Thanks so much for your feedback, dear!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Yaaaay! I’m so glad you’re trying out the granola, Kiki! It’s seriously addicting! Let me know how you like it! 🙂 xoxo

      Reply
  8. Dorothy

    We have recently went grain free and were missing the crunch on our yogurt so we saw your recipe and tried it. Wow! This was exactly what we were looking for! We have tried a few other recipes but this one is the only one we will be using from now on. Thank you for posting it!

    Reply
  9. michael

    do I need to refrigerate this granola?. I’m only asking because There are egg whites in it.

    what do you find the shelf life to be?

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Michael, I didn’t refrigerate it, and I kept it for about 10 days. If you’re concerned about it, I’d say make a smaller batch and use it in a few days or refrigerate it. The last thing I’d want is for you to get sick!!

      Reply
      1. michael

        Sure is yummy good. Very filling. I might try the recipe without the egg white so I don’t have to worry about it perishing.

        I tend to make large batches of granola once every month or so rather than every week just because it’s hard to find the time sometimes.

        Reply
  10. Brandon H

    Followed the directions to the “T” and burned the trail mix. I’d suggest only going 30 minutes. Smells delicious, definitely be trying it again.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that, Brandon! I’m wondering if it’s because I live at high elevation that my granola took longer to cook. I’ll make a note of this in the recipe. I hope it works out for the next go-round, and my apologies again.

      Reply
    1. Michael Gazsi

      I skip the egg whites to avoid shelf stability issues. Use blender chopped almonds, cashews, filberts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, ground flax, shredded unsweetened coconut, honey or maple syrup and water. Lots of Cinnamon. Bake it until really dry. Then in container in pantry for 2-3 weeks.

      Reply
      1. j

        nuts have short shelf lives too. the delicate oils in them can go rancid in a couple of weeks in warmer temperatures. i say add the egg white because it creates better clusters, then store your granola in an air tight container in the fridge, which i would recommend doing even if you didn’t add the egg white.

        Reply
  11. Lisa Goad

    OMG… In the oven. Of course I tasted before I put it in and my eyes rolled back in my head! I substituted 1/2 cup of nuts with hemp and somehow missed the 2tbs. Of water… So we’ll see how it sticks together… But it will be eaten… Tastes amazing!

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    I assume you are aware that your cup of dried cranberries contains up to 90g of refined sugar, slightly less if sweetened with apple juice concentrate. Just sayin’.

    Reply
  13. Michele Schnelker

    OMGosh! this is the first time i’ve read you’re blog and i’m in love w/you already. i laughed out loud like 10 times! we are DEFINITELY on the same page w/the crunch factor. i say things should be so crunchy they almost hurt your jaw. my mom doesn’t get this…
    now i must go to the store to get my granola ingredients…idk how we’ve run out of cashews and pepitas…oh that’s right, i love crunch and i eat them!
    thx so much for sharing this recipe. can’t wait to enjoy it later tonight after it cooks for forever. 😉

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Ohhh Michele, I’m so happy to hear you’re interested in making the granola and got a good chuckle out of the post! I hope you enjoy the crunch, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions! 🙂 xoxo

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi James, You can make a flax egg by combining one tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water. Simply mix the flax seed and the water in a bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so. After this amount of time, the flax will thicken to an egg-like consistency. Mix this in with your granola, and you should be good to go 🙂

      Reply
  14. Allison

    Can you use ground flax seed and water as a substitute for the egg white? We just found out our daughter is allergic to egg whites, milk and wheat…. But she loves granola every morning with her yogurt

    Reply
  15. Alexandra B.

    Thanks so much, Julia, for this wonderful recipe!!! It smelled like heaven as I was making it, and tastes absolutely delicious. WOW. If this is what Paleo life is like, then I’ll join the club!

    P. S. I’ll reiterate what someone said above about variable cooking time depending on oven strength. My granola almost burned 28 minutes in, at 300 F. So make sure to check it regularly.

    P. P. S. Interesting how the sweetness goes away once baked. At first I thought: wow, this is gonna be pretttty sweet (I *may have even tasted a spoonful of this deliciousness as I was making it). But this was not the case at all at the end. To keep in mind…

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      You’re so welcome, Alexandra!! I’m happy you love the granola – it’s seriously one of my favorite breakfasts and snacks. I made another note in the recipe regarding bake time, as I’ve noticed honey has a quicker burn time than maple syrup. Whenever I use maple syrup in granola, I end up baking it longer than when I use honey. It is funny how the sweetness kind of dissipates during the baking process! I always end up eating the granola with lots of banana and/or honey to add some sweet to it 😀 Thanks so much for your feedback!! xoxo

      Reply
      1. Alexandra B.

        Yes, fresh banana with it is delicious!

        Also, I should mention my boyfriend tasted it today and almost fainted 🙂

        Thanks again for the amazing recipe & best of luck with everything! xoxo

        Reply
  16. JR

    Were your cranberries sweetened? I can never find unsweetened dried cranberries except for Trader Joe’s freeze-dried cranberries, so not the right texture. I find that other dried fruit is easier to get unsweetened. If you’re really keeping a paleo diet, though, you should be aware of how sugar-laden those dried cranberries are. Otherwise, looks delicious!

    Reply
  17. Alexandra

    I’ve made this recipe twice. Only difference is substituting the pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds. However, it never seems to come out crunchy like it was described. I’ve left it in longer.. let it sit longer.. and it ended up the same. Any clue?

    Reply
  18. Alicia

    This granola is awesome! I’ve made many versions over the years but having recently switched to a paleo-ish diet this is great. And the best granola I’ve ever made 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Mary Giuffrida

    Just made this granola and it is absolutely delicious! I used dried cherries because I had them on hand and used the coconut oil. I think it would be fun to try some different combination of nuts/dried fruits, as well! Excellent (and super easy) recipe.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      OOH, dried cherries sound awesome! So happy you like the recipe and yup, I bet a variety of other nuts would be awesome, too! 😀

      Reply
  20. Kevin Robertson

    What size is the pan you use?
    I spread the entire mixture on a 14×16 cookie sheet and baked at 300ºF and ended up baking for 30 minutes. Only achieved great clusters around the outer edges. The inner portion had a layer of golden brown mixture with small clusters but underneath was not baked well at all.
    I removed as many clusters as possible, spread the mixture more thinly and baked for another 10 minutes. Never really achieved more large clusters and had another layer of under-baked mixture beneath the golden brown. Seems obvious that I had far too much mixture for the size pan I used.
    So again I ask. What size pan are you using?

    Thanks for the recipe!

    kr

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Kevin,

      I use a parchment-lined 12″ x 18″ baking sheet which means I end up with a thick layer of granola, too. I find it works well to leave the granola in an evenly-spread thick layer on the sheet rather than to spread it out. The granola along the edges does get a little crispier than the granola in the center, but I haven’t gotten the same result as you with un-baked granola in the center. It makes sense that you didn’t get large clusters after spreading the granola out, since you need the thick layer for the granola to bind together and form the clusters. The key is to turn the granola once during the baking process and leave it un-touched for a while after it comes out of the oven. I’m a firm believer the “clustering” happens after the granola is out of the oven. Also, exact bake times and temperatures vary depending on elevation. I’ve found it takes my granola roughly twice as long to bake as those who live at sea level. Hope this helps!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Patty, You can definitely use rolled oats to make granola, although I would suggest looking up a different recipe, as I’m not sure what would need to be adjusted based on the amount of oats you use. Best of luck!

      Reply
  21. Alice

    Thank you for this recipe! This is soooooooo good! I have made it many many times now and it has also become my new go to as a hostess gift in a pretty jar. Everyone I have given it to has asked for the recipe and then has actually made it for themselves. I eat it everyday for breakfast with Greek yogurt and some fresh fruit.

    I usually get lazy and leave out the egg whites, although they do make it crunchier. I always add sunflower seeds and a handful of sesame seeds and I use melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Have tried other nut combinations, but always come back to the ones in the recipe as the best. Dried cranberries are good and easy to find, but my favorite is dried wild blueberries but then added only right after the granola is out of the oven (not baked with it).

    Thank you thank you!!!

    Reply
  22. Sophie

    This recipe looks lovely! However I was wondering how long it lasts if I were to store some and how would you recommend storing it? Thanks! X

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Sophie,

      The granola keeps very well! I’d recommend storing it in a large glass jar and keep it sealed. You can also store it in a zip lock bag. I usually leave mine in the pantry, but if you’re concerned about the egg white in the recipe, you can definitely keep it in the refrigerator. Hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply
  23. Bonnie

    does anyone know the amount of carbs in this recipe? I’d like to make this for my son who is following the keto diet. Thank you

    Reply
    1. j

      nuts and seeds are pretty low carb foods. you might want to sub out the honey, however. try is with stevia. i might actually try doing this in my next batch. but if you want to find out exactly how many carbs are in this just go to caloriecount.com, which give you a full nutritional breakdown for any and all foods. then you’ll have to add up the amounts and calculate the carbohydrates yourself.

      Reply
  24. j

    my only issue with this granola is its through the roof calorie content. i made a batch and did the math. about a 1/3 cup (or 32 grams) has almost 200 calories and this recipe makes about thirty 1/3 cup servings. so if you’re using this granola as a topping for your whipped coconut cream or paleo banana pancakes, you’re easily pushing 400+ calories and i, personally, like to keep my breakfast below 400 calories, 300 to 350 is ideal. anyway, unless you are getting shredded in daily crossfit classes or workouts that burn a few hundred calories at a time it makes it hard to eat a satisfying amount of this stuff. perhaps my complaint stems from how delicious it is and how badly i want to eat it by the handful. i must restrain myself.

    Reply
  25. Brandy

    I am always looking for ways to use up almond pulp leftover from making almond milk, so I started replacing 1 cup of the nuts in this recipe with 1 cup of almond pulp. I was finding that the granola would come out of the oven crunchy, but then get soft in my glass jars. I’ve found the solution! Now I bake it about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, stir and then reduce the heat to 170 (lowest my oven goes) and continue to dehydrate it in the oven, stirring every 20-30 minutes until done. This keeps it from burning/browning too much and turns out some serious crunch factor! Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply
  26. Audrey

    Thank You for the recipe! I made it with the addition of hemp seeds for protein, swapped almonds for cashews, and used coconut oil for extra coconut flavor! So delicious with some yogurt and berries! My batch took more like 40-45 mins with frequent stirring to reach desired brown-ness. I was concerned when it came out of the oven that it still seemed soggy but was happy to find it crisped up as it cooled! Yay! Just a questions though, did anyone else find that their granola seemed to lose its sweetness after it was baked? I tasted the granola before I baked it and thought it was sweet enough with the amount of honey I used, but when it was all baked and ready it tasted like I hadn’t used any sweetener! Anyone have the same issue? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Audrey, thanks for all your feedback! I find the granola to be not very sweet either, so I typically eat it with a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup on top. I usually eat it with almond milk or yogurt. Hope this helps and thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience! 😀

      Reply
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  28. Monique Sayre

    Just found this little gem of a recipe and followed it exact. All I can say is I am NEVER buying granola in the store again! Absolutely amazing! I recently (about 2 months ago) turned to the paleo way of eating (although I do add some cheese here & there), and this recipe was just what I needed to satisfy my need for CRUNCH! Thanks a ton!

    Reply
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  31. Emily

    LOVE this stuff so much! It has great flexibility with the nuts that you can add. I have made it before as written, and today I am making it for a Crossfit baby shower. I added 1 cup each of: cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pecans. I also used dried cherries instead of cranberries! So good! Thanks for a great recipe!:-)

    Reply
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