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Recipe: grain-free chocolate and nut granola

Granola recipe that's grain-free, paleo-friendly with chocolate and nutsIt takes a lot for me to turn on my oven. I am a notoriously lazy cook, and anything that takes longer than 15 minutes to get onto my plate is usually just too much of a hassle.

And of all the things one might possibly make in an oven, making granola was certainly not an exercise that ever appealed to me. Cookies? Yes. Muffins? Absolutely. The perfect poached chicken? Sure. But granola? It always seemed to me to be a complete waste of time.

So you can trust me when I say this granola recipe is seriously worth it.

The trouble with store-bought granola is it’s typically made with grains and a whole bunch of added sugar – or it doesn’t taste very good. And while I love granola and yogurt, I do not love getting a sugar rush from breakfast. The below recipe uses nuts as the base, which makes for filling granola without any necessary “stuff”.

But the best news? It takes all of 5 minutes to prepare before popping in the oven, doesn’t require a food processor, makes delightful little granola clusters without the use of honey, and is immensely flexible to whatever you have in your pantry.

This recipe makes for a perfect, protein-rich pre-running snack that will give you a boost of easy, crash-free energy. Try it with Greek yogurt for a delicious and healthy breakfast.

Easy, grain-free, paleo-friendly chocolate and nut granola

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • Sugar substitute, to taste (1/4 tsp or so) (or agave syrup to taste)
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200F (90°C). Grease a baking sheet (I use coconut oil).
  2. Chop walnuts and cashews into small pieces. Throw them into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in shredded coconut, chia seeds, dried cranberries, sugar substitute, and cocoa powder. Add vanilla extract but don’t stir yet.
  4. In a bowl, mix the egg white and the water. Add about half of this egg-water mixture to the granola and stir together (At this stage it may be easiest to mix with your hands) – add in as much as you think it needs, and pour the rest away.
  5. Spread the granola mixture onto the baking sheet. Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are toasted and you can’t hold yourself back from throwing a handful directly into your mouth.
  6. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe notes:

  • Sugar substitute vs. agave: If you intend to eat this granola with yogurt, any powdered sugar substitute that you like should work fine. If, however, you prefer to eat granola with milk or any other liquid, it might be better to use agave (or even honey), as I’ve found that sugar substitute dissolved tastes quite artificial and unpleasant. But some people are used to the taste – if that’s the case, then go for it.
  • Different nuts: You can of course substitute any nuts for the walnuts and cashews, those just happen to be my personal favorites (and I find the walnut-chocolate mixture to be irresistible).
  • Other add-ins: It goes without saying that you can add, or omit, anything you like from the core ingredients – for example, try dried blueberries instead of cranberries, or stir in some dark chocolate after the granola has cooled.

Written by Varia Makagonova.

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