Recipe: Grain-free granola

It’s no secret that I have difficulty planning meals for myself. Feeding myself has always been more of an afterthought, but with the pregnancy “afterthought” is no longer an option.

I really struggled during the first trimester just trying to find food that I wanted to eat for more than 2 minutes at a time. While the second trimester has been easier, I still don’t know how long I’m going to want a particular food. Breakfast has proven to be especially difficult to plan for. I really would like a simple bowl of cereal, but that’s not a possibility, so after a month or two of eating breakfast muffins I decided I needed a change.

Right after Andy and I switched over to grain-free eating, I found a recipe for granola that used nuts and seeds as the base rather than oatmeal. While I couldn’t remember where I had found the original recipe, I had a pretty good idea I could figure it out on my own. And let me tell you this granola hits the spot! Most mornings I eat a little bit over some plain Greek yogurt with sliced banana, but if I’m feeling even lazier, I’ll just pour a small bowl and eat it with some kind of milk (usually almond or cow).

Granola is super forgiving (as long as you don’t burn it!). If you don’t like walnuts, swap in some extra almonds or cashews. Prefer ginger and nutmeg to cinnamon? Go for it! This recipe isn’t super sweet, so you can always add more sugar if you want, but I think it’s perfect just as it is.

One last thing–because this granola base is all nuts and seeds it will fill you up faster than you realize. Start with a small amount and go back for seconds if you need it.

Ingredients:
– 4 cups mixed nuts and seeds (I usually go for a combo of almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pepitas, but feel free to use your favorites)
– 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
– 2 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil*
– 3 teaspoons sugar**
– Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to taste (I usually go for a Tablespoon of cinnamon and a quick grate of nutmeg)
– Pinch of salt
– 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl combine nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. Add butter, sugar, spices, and salt. Stir till everything is combined and evenly coated.

Shake granola onto a cookie sheet making sure to spread everything out.

Bake for 15 minutes. Stir the granola in the pan, then bake until golden brown (usually another 10-15 minutes). Watch the granola carefully as it goes from golden to burned very quickly!

Allow granola to cool to room temperature then add cranberries. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe notes:
* If I’m feeling really decadent, I’ll add a small amount of cocoa butter as I’m melting my butter. It adds a little hint of “What is that amazing flavor???” to the granola without making it too chocolatey.
** Any kind of sugar will do here–white, brown, coconut, maple syrup, honey. Go with whatever you have. Lately I’ve used either maple syrup or coconut sugar.

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