Paleo Granola

Recently I’ve started eating paleo again. I researched and tested it out about a year ago and loved how it made me feel, but paleo’s hard when you’re single and don’t have anyone else to share the costs and labor with.ย  It’s also difficult when dating, as you don’t want to seem ridiculously high maintenance when it comes to grabbing dinner or aย  drink.

Nonetheless, a worrying down-tick in health recently inspired me to try it again. And, one week into it I realized that paleo is actually quite good when you’re single! For starters, it makes you feel totally awesome: you wake up flat-stomached, your skin clears up, and you no longer feel congested and fatigued. In fact, you actually start to feel a little bit foxy in your yoga pants, as opposed to just “ugh I do not even care.” This in turn boosts your shaken confidence and gives you a noticeable glow, which is good for attracting a mate who is worthy of you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, the less glamorous reason is that you do have time to cook, because honestly you aren’t going on a ton of dates or spending your weekends snuggled up on the couch.

Whatever. It’s hard to feel bad about your life when you’re chomping on THIS:

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Scrumptious Crumbly Paleo Granolaย  ๐Ÿ˜€

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw nuts and seeds (I used almonds, walnuts, and pecans here but love pumpkin seeds in this too!)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (try doing less, then adding in to taste; honey can be subbed instead)
  • 3 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (this and ginger are strong spices — if you’re not used to them start with less and add to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Generous sprinkling sea salt
  • Handful of dried cranberries (you can add whatever you like before or after cooking, just reduce syrup or honey if you’re using particularly sweet fruit)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Be fancy and mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in the other before combining, or be a savage and just dump it all in a giant bowl and attack it with forks to mix it like I did. Spread granola batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil (I used foil), then pop in the oven for about 15 minutes. 10 minutes in stir it around, then keep a suspicious eye on it because it’s easy to overcook.

Eat in a bowl of warmed coconut or almond milk, or atop Greek yogurt or kefir if you’re a dairy fan.ย  This also tastes really good plain. ๐Ÿ™‚

You like? Then check this awesomeness out:

1) PaleoOMG’s Pumpkin Granola, which I made last week as my first foray into paleo cereal. It is sooooo freaking good and her blog rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚ My only caveat is that if I made this again I would halve the amount of dates, as I had to add another cup of nuts and seeds and increase the spices to tone down the sweetness of the batter the first time around.

2) Just Eat Real Food’s “Sweet and Simple Guide to Paleo Granola”, which inspired me to make the recipe above! This site actually has a number of granola recipes that look great.

 

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Gluten-Free Strawberry Basil Muffins

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Strawberry basil.ย  As soon as I read the words I had to know how that intriguing flavor combination would taste. I already had sweet organic berries (look how small and pretty they are!) and loads of basil growing in my ‘garden’, so I picked up a bag of almond flour and happily got to work.

The verdict?

Overwhelmingly scrumptious.

Beth of Tasty Yummies deserves an award for dreaming these up. They’re moist, fragrant, and incredibly tasty, all while being gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free. There is magic in maple syrup, my friends. Also, coconut oil.ย  I will not pretend that these are ‘healthy’ in that they have plenty of fat and sugar, but at least there are good fats going on here, and they are far more nourishing and filling than your average grocery store muffin.

The only thing I’d change next time would be to slightly reduce the salt, and to experiment with adding peaches. Doesn’t that sound good?! I actually bought peaches to play with, but they didn’t ripen in time.

PS: I am just beginning to learn to use my camera! Forgive the embarrassing food styling, as I don’t have the white plates and rustic wooden tables of fancier bloggers yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS PS: Looking back, I just realized these are technically paleo. Yay!