Recipe: Hunter Gatherer Vanilla Granola

granola 1
Photo from my Instagram feed

My main concern (lately) has been eating healthier. Since my pregnancy, my sugar intake has gone through the roof. I have always had a sweet tooth, but between pregnancy, then breastfeeding, then moving states and starting a new job, I have been stress eating like nobody’s business. I love my candy, pastries, and hot chocolates a little too much. This summer, I have been trying (with limited success) to get my sugar intake under control.

As part of this effort, I have been reading a lot about the Paleo Diet. I like the main concept of the Paleo: eat whole foods, because that’s what our bodies have evolved to eat. For me, it resonates with the Michael Pollan/Food Rules sort of eating that I loved so much, before I got pregnant with Nora. I just don’t know if I can commit to the details of Paleo: avoid all processed foods including breads and most grains, refined sugar, dairy, and legumes. That’s a lot of avoiding. My sense though is that Paleo recipe books are a good source for healthy recipes, especially for treats that don’t involve refined sugar.

That’s how this weekend, I found myself spending fifteen minutes chopping almonds while Nora napped. I came across Tyler Daniels‘ Kindle Book: Paleo Breakfast Recipes: For Busy Moms and Dads, through Mama Natural’s Facebook page. (Pro tip: She often provides links to free Kindle books on a variety of healthy eating/living topics, so she’s a good person to follow on Facebook or Twitter. However, even at full price, these books are a steal – often $2.99 a piece.) I read through the recipes and found the perfect solution to my afternoon candy bar cravings: grain-free granola. Daniels’ book has five recipes for grain-free granola and I decided to try Hunter Gatherer Vanilla Granola. It has easy to locate ingredients, important when you live in a small town, and it seemed simple to execute.

My caveat: I am not an accomplished cook, by any means. I am someone who loves to cook when she has the time, which is the privilege of the non-primary meal preparer in a house with a toddler. So, I cook maybe once a week, if that. If I can accomplish this recipe in about 40 minutes, give or take, anyone can.

Hunter Gatherer Vanilla Granola
(reprinted with permission from the author)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (Note: I used a combination of the last of my Tupelo honey and wildflower honey, if that matters to other honey snobs out there.)
  • 1 tbs. warm water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (Note: My pumpkin seeds were salted, but I still used this same amount of kosher salt, and it turned out fine.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.
  3. Spread mixture onto a greased baking sheet. (Note: I used a shallow cake pan, which helped when I was stirring and when I was transferring it to jars.)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, but stir the granola after 10 minutes so it cooks evenly.
  5. Cool before serving, then store in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.

The most challenging part of this recipe was chopping the almonds, which could be easily remedied by using a food processor. Nora was sleeping, so I used a knife and patience. Everything else was as simple as this recipe sounds.

granola 2
Photo from my Instagram feed

Let me tell you, when I was baking this granola, my house smelled like heaven, thanks to the combination of vanilla, coconut oil, and honey. I recommend trying this recipe, just to smell it as it bakes.

As soon as it was finished cooling, I spooned the still slightly warm granola into my Ball 4 ounce jelly jars, which made about 12-ish portions. I’m not as solid on the portions, because as I was transferring it, Aaron, Nora and I nommed a full portion. In fact, Nora kept stretching over me to get more out of the pan, she liked it so much.

The result, for me, is a highly addictive and satisfying snack. I eat about half of the jelly jar, because it is filling enough, with the protein, fat, and fiber, to last me in the afternoon. I highly recommend trying it, and the other recipes, in the book.

What recipes or techniques have you found that satisfy your sugar cravings? Let me know so I can try them!

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3 thoughts on “Recipe: Hunter Gatherer Vanilla Granola

  1. Kira Elliott

    Jessica,
    I can so relate to needing to cut the sugar down. I too have been stress eating for the last year or so and now my blood sugar levels are over the place. Diabetes runs strong in my family and I want to do whatever I can to not go there. I have looked at the Paleo diet too but I don’t eat meat. My acupuncturist recommended Paul Pitchford book Healing with Whole Foods. It is a dense book but good. He recommends the Paleo diet but also the Rural Chinese Diet which is comprised of whole grains, veggies and fruit and small amounts of protein. I can still eat brown rice. I have been following for about three weeks now and I am feeling better. I am going to try this recipe too. I need something I can take with me to eat when I am out and about. I can’t wait for my house to smell good.
    BTW, I found your site through August Break on Instagram. This is my first year and I am loving it. Keeps me looking and being creative but not too much of a time commitment.
    Have a great morning- Kira

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Hi Kira – thanks for the book recommendation. I will definitely check it out. I’m not vegetarian, but I try to eat limited meat, which does make Paleo harder.

      This is my 2nd year of August Break, but my first using Instagram. The hashtag makes it so much easier to find other participants. I’m really loving it! I’ve enjoyed your photos as well. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Resetting My Eating Habits | Breathing Oxygen

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