One of the most frequent questions I get from clients is for more breakfast options. To be honest, I find it fascinating that people can have a bagel and cream cheese every single day for breakfast and not get bored, but bacon and eggs? Nope, bored. Everyone wants cereal!
I’m not going to beat around the bush here – cereal is crap. Whoever decided it was a healthy breakfast option should be criminalized. Honestly. It’s sugar on refined grains on GMOs on more sugar. Cereal is not a source of fibre – vegetables are. Cereal is a heart attack waiting to happen. It causes crazy blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, leading to insulin insensitivity, hyperactivity and poor cognitive function. Is that how you want to start your work day? Or set your kids up for school? I don’t think so. Oh and it doesn’t matter if it’s Fruit Loops, Special K or gluten-free granola – it’s all garbage!!
I’m a big fan of epic, nutrient dense breakfasts! Hop on over to my Instagram feed to check out what I eat for breakfast and you will see eggs, bacon, sausage, soup, leftovers (pulled pork, burgers), sauerkraut, avocados, fried plantains, salads….gimme all the nutrients! I make sure I focus on fat, protein and veggies for breakfast, and if it’s after a workout, I usually add in some starch in the form of coconut oil-fried plantains!
Some clients are totally on board with this right away, but others need what I like to think of as transition meals. My banana muffins are a perfect example of this – fairly nutrient dense, but still feel like the sweet, carb-dense breakfasts you’re used to. Or my coconut milk parfait in lieu of yogurt. But I kept getting asked for cereal!! And since there isn’t a single cereal (gluten-free or otherwise) that I’ve found worthy of purchasing, I had to find an alternative that you can make at home.
Enter: grain-free granola!
Who knew granola could be grain free? Wanna know something crazy? No one notices it’s missing the oats! Packed with nuts, seeds, raisins and shredded coconut, grain-free granola is every bit as delicious as its grain-filled counterpart. The first recipe I made was amazing – and I shouldn’t be surprised considering it’s from the always-inspired Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. Her spiced pumpkin granola is a hit with my clients and garnered rave reviews at our family thanksgiving this year!
Recently, I was looking for DIY gift options for Christmas and used her recipe as a jumping off point to create this recipe – Apple Cinnamon Granola. Super easy to make, delicious and it stands up to milk (or coconut milk) if you’re craving cereal! Fill a mason jar with this granola and wrap a bow around it for the perfect last minute Christmas gift. While this recipe works best in a dehydrator, you can absolutely bake it in the oven on 200F for a few hours, or at 350F if you watch it and stir it regularly! Enjoy!
- 3 cups nuts and seeds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place nuts and seeds in a food processor or high powered blender (I used my Blendtec) and pulse until roughly chopped, approximately the size of oats. You may need to do this in steps.
- Pour into a large bowl and stir in shredded coconut and raisins.
- Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small pot over medium heat.
- Add in maple syrup, apple sauce, vanilla and spices. Stir to combine.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir really well. It will not be super sticky at this point - that's okay!
- Spread evenly onto 2 or 3 parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays, about a ½ inch thick, and dehydrate for 18-24 hours.
- Any combination of nuts and seeds work. I usually use half sunflower seeds (to keep the cost low), and the remainder pumpkin seeds, almonds and pecans.
- Make nut-free by using sunflower and pumpkin seeds only.
- Reduce sugar by using more apple sauce and less maple syrup.
Hey Amanda, Merry Christmas . . . quick question about this recipe, it calls for 1/2 Maple Syrup, but doesn’t say if that is half a cup or 1/2 teaspoon, I’m assuming 1/2 cup ?????
Thanks for catching that Liz! Yes it’s a ½ cup! You can reduce the amount of maple syrup and increase the apple sauce too. 🙂
This sounds delish! Quick question for those without a dehydrator: can this be done in the oven at a low temperature instead of a dehydrator?
Hey Maddie – you totally can. Around 200F or less for 2-4 hours works great. Or if you don’t want to leave your oven on for that long, you can do it at 350 for 45-60 minutes – just make sure to stir frequently and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!
here, here, on punishing the inventor of cereal. i wish i hadn’t been brought up on the crap. and then there’s the cow’s milk. geez. weird meal when you really think about it.
recipe looks good. will try it when AIP is done.