Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paleo Granola

I was in such a hurry to get the Paleo ice cream recipe posted a few weeks back that I didn't get to make a couple things known.  First off, I AM NOT A PALEO GURU.  Secondly, I DO NOT EAT PALEO 100% OF THE TIME.  I eat this way I'd say 75% of the time.  Sometimes that may even be stretching it, but I do make a conscious effort, daily, to make food choices that are consistent with the Paleo way of living.  My reasoning?  It's simple.  Simple as in the delicious way Mother Nature intended.  At least that is my interpretation of it.  I was introduced to the diet through the CrossFit world.  Many people have different views on why to eat this way, but the more I read about it the more I understood it as getting back to the days of when one knew and could pronounce what they were eating.  Meat wasn't injected with hormones, fruits and vegetables weren't sprayed with pesticides but rather grown in your own backyard, and food was sweetened with nature's gold, raw honey.  It all goes back to the earth for me.  Not weight loss or any sort of vanity insanity.  I want to feel and be healthy for me and for my family; mentally and physically connected to the simple, but great pleasures this beautiful planet provides. 
Not to say that I don't indulge in a brownie or two here and there throughout my week.  As a matter of fact my latest weakness has been these delightful crème filled maple leaf cookies my boyfriend (yes I have a boyfriend, his name is Robin, more about him when I can dedicate the time) brought home from Trader Joes.  They are absolutely divine and smell like a maple syrup dream.  I find personally if I allow myself to fall off the wagon here and there I tend to stay on it longer and more consistently when I get back on.  I call it a "nutrition get away or vacation".    In my opinion we all need time off from a lot of things other than work, so as to not get burned out on be it the gym, a hobby, or our kids for that matter!  Right?  Too each his own of course. 
Anyway, I came across this recipe for granola when looking for a cereal substitute.  I tweaked it a bit and found it to be pretty delicious, so naturally I thought I would share.  I could dominate the crap out of some cereal, especially Lucky Charms, but oh the horror of those ingredients.  Not to mention the sluggish, unmotivated self I become after demolishing a bowl or two.  Here's the recipe my ready for your house to smell like honey and maple syrup heaven. 

Paleo Granola

2 cups of sliced almonds
2 cups of pumpkin seeds (shelled or not your preference, we like shelled)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of unsweetened dried fruit of your choice (blueberries, cranberries, or dates)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of raw honey
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Turn on and turn up your stereo.  (Music of choice for us with this recipe was Zeppelin)
2.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
3.  Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
4.  Add liquid ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
5.  Spread evenly on cookie sheet.
6.  Bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Let cool then used spatula to break apart.  Store in air tight container.
8.  Eat with almond milk like cereal, sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt, OR eat it by the handfuls leaving Hansel and Gretel trails all through the house like we do.

I buy all the nuts at Trader Joes.  The unsweetened coconut I buy by the pound at Wholefoods.  I've found that the freeze dried fruit Trader Joes carries (no sugar added) works nicely, but it seems everyone's favorite in this household is dates.  Remarkably, you can find dates in any grocery store without sugar added.

"Then as it was, then again it will be.
An' though the course may change sometimes 
rivers always reach the sea."
~ Robert Plant
Ten Years Gone, Led Zeppelin

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