Gluten free, grain-free, refined sugar-free paleo granola. This simple recipe incorporates nuts and seeds, plus – bonus points – you end up with huge granola clusters!
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.
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!
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:
- Use a variety of nuts and seeds. Raw walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seed…toss it all in!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 2 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried cranberries see note*
- 1 egg white lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil see note**
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey***
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
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.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white with the water until bubbly and slightly foamy.
Add the grapeseed oil, pure maple syrup (or honey), vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to the egg white/water mixture and whisk together well.
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.
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).
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!!
Use a spatula to get under the granola and release the large clusters.
Once cool, store the granola in a 2-quart sealable glass jar.
Eat granola with your favorite non-dairy milk or yogurt and fruit
*Be sure to use juice-sweetened dried cranberries rather than sugar-sweetened
**You can also use olive oil or coconut oil
***Adjust the amount of sweetener to taste
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)!