Almond Butter Granola

As I've mentioned before, I LOVE granola, probably because it reminds me of the sugary cereal which I ADORED as a kid (Cinnamon Toast Crunch anyone??). Unfortunately, most of the stuff on the market (both granola and cereal) is not so great for you, so I try to make my own whenever possible. 

This is an easy recipe which is low in sugar (sweetened with fruit + a wee bit of local honey) and completely grain-free! It's also totally adaptable - you can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you have on hand. 

Almond Butter Granola / gluten free, paleo, vegan option, low sugar

Inspired by this recipe + Hu Kitchen's almond butter granola. 

Ingredients:

- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil

- 1/2 cup natural almond butter (or peanut butter!)

- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

- 1 1/2 cup applesauce, or three medium extra ripe banana mashed (if you use banana, it will have a slight banana flavor).

- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 3 cups mixed raw nuts and seeds (I used equal parts hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts, but throw in whatever you got!)

- 1/2 cup raw almonds

- 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

- 1/4 cup cacao nibs, chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper (or grease with coconut oil). 

2. Wet ingredients: Add coconut oil through cinnamon in your food processor or blender and blend for about 30 seconds. Taste it - if you like your granola on the sweeter side, you may add another 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener. You may also want to add more cinnamon (I'm a cinnamon-a-holic so I always do!). 

3. Dry ingredients: Add nuts, seeds, coconut, and cacao nibs to a large bowl and stir.  

4. Mix it up! Add your wet mixture to the dry and mix until well combined. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it browns evenly. Note: You may need to let it cook for a little longer. You want the granola to have crunchy edges, but still slightly soft (it will harden more as it cools). 

 

Enjoy with almond milk, atop a green smoothie, or by itself as a crunchy snack!

Did you like this recipe? Then I think you'll love my Banana Bread Granola. 

Superfood Trail Mix

The perfect snack to keep stashed in your purse, backpack, or briefcase.  Packed with good for you fats and satisfying protein, this salty/sweet mix will power you through a long afternoon or late night (it's also a easy breakfast on the go). 

A quick spotlight on one of the superfood ingredients in this mix: MULBERRIES.

Remember that nursery rhyme "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"?  Yup, these little guys are one and the same as the plant referenced in that song.  Dried white mulberries taste similar to dried figs - mildly sweet and chewy.  They are an excellent source of calcium and iron (two nutrients that many people think are lacking in vegetarian & vegan diets), as well as vitamin C, protein, and fiber. 

As with most of my recipes, this one is very adaptable.  Allergic to nuts? Try a mix of raw seeds!  Can't find goji berries?  Unsweetened cranberries or cherries would also taste great.  Play around with it and find a combination that YOU love best (because as we know, we all have slightly different tastes).

Superfood Trail Mix (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, raw)

- 1 cup raw nuts (I use equal parts almonds, cashews, and walnuts)

- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds 

- 1/4 cup dried goji berries

- 1/4 cup dried mulberries

- scant 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

Add all ingredients to a bowl, mix, and then store in an airtight container.  Sometimes I put the whole batch in a Ziploc to keep in my backpack; sometimes I like to portion it out into single serving bags.  ENJOY!