The best Paleo granola

Hi friends! How’s the day going?? Thank you so much for all of your heartfelt comments and emails after yesterday’s family post. I started a giant checklist with your tips and suggestions and am going to start cranking through and researching while we get a referral to a pediatric GI specialist. Even though it breaks my heart that many of you have experienced something similar, it’s also comforting to hear that I’m not alone. Sending giant virtual hugs and gratitude to all of you. <3

With everything going on, it made me even more thankful that I did some planning before P’s birth and pre-wrote a bunch of posts. I wrote 18 posts + snippets of others, which has been a majority of the blog for the past 4 weeks. I still have some left for a crazy/rainy/writer’s block kinda day, but it gave me the chance to take a break and also provide you guys with solid content while I was away. I’ve been easing back into writing and I feel refreshed to be back, especially with the exciting blog events coming up, like Favorite Things giveaways (start next week!), Post Baby Bod (12-week postpartum fitness plan) and Winter Shape Up (January 25).

Yesterday afternoon, Livi and I tried a new “cupcake” recipe. I put cupcake in quotations because you can’t really call them that. Since I’m dairy free for now to see if it helps with P’s reflux, I’ve been scouring dessert options because my sweet tooth is out of control and it turns out everything has milk or butter in it. I am so thankful for the co-op and their selection of lovely baked vegan treats. To quell the beast yesterday afternoon, I found a recipe on Pinterest for Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes. It was basically pureed bananas, pumpkin and spices, and while I was skeptical, the photos looked appetizing. 

It tasted like baked baby food.

Baking w liv

The only good part: Liv and I sang Christmas carols while we baked, and she thought they were delicious, so that’s all that matters.

So instead of talking about Paleo baking fails, let’s focus on some wins, like this beloved granola. 

Sometimes when I have granola, I’m reminded of the first time I had it in elementary school. That’s when granola was super… granola.. and I had it at my friend’s house. I thought it was weird -nuts? seeds? what is this?- until I was introduced to the Trader Joe’s clusters granola. I could eat just the clusters out of the box. And I did.

While delicious, it wasn’t high on the nutrient spectrum and I’d find myself hungry a couple of minutes later. Flash forwards years and years, to a time when I really enjoyed the crunch of granola and the joy of having a healthy option that left me satisfied and energized. I discovered Paleo granola. 

Paleo granola 1 of 1 2

You may remember about this time last year when I became obsessed with it. I made a batch almost every week, and it was absolutely perfect to enjoy with almond milk and a couple of scrambled eggs on the side. It’s entirely free of grains, lightly sweetened with honey, spiced with cinnamon, and an awesome variety of textures from the nuts, seeds, chocolate chips (necessary) and dried cranberries. This one stores extremely well, too, and I guess it could last for a couple of weeks at least?

Ours never makes it past a few days. 

Paleo granola 1 of 1

Granola 1 of 1 2

This is one of my beloved recipes from the book! It’s hard to believe that the anniversary of HIIT It! is just around the corner. (Check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble if you’d like to get yourself a little gift this week!)

Paleo Granola

Makes 6-8 servings

1 cup almonds

1 cup walnuts

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup hemp seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon of butter, melted

pinch sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup dried frui

t¼-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and walnuts until chopped. (I like to leave a little bit of texture variation here.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

3. Stir in the coconut, hemp seeds, vanilla, honey, butter and cinnamon. Mix well.

4. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 45 min, stirring once halfway.

5. Let the granola cool completely, and stir in the chocolate chips and dried fruit.

6. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Can’t find hemp seeds? No worries. Chia seeds and flax seeds make great add-in substitutions.

Let me know if you give it a whirl. 🙂 Maybe a new breakfast obsession?



What was your favorite cereal back in the day? Kyle and I were huge fans of Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs. 

Also, if you haven’t tried this granola recipe yet, doooooo it. 

You might also like:


  1. I love making granola but what I don’t love is when I eat the entire bag HAHA! Yeah for planning ahead! Hopefully you will find a doctor who can figure this out!

  2. Mmmm this sounds like tasty!

    Except for the coconut. LOVE the smell but not a fan of the flakes (think it’s a texture thing?). I might have to experiment with it a little 😀

    I used to LOVE Corn Pops as a kid!

  3. Kelsey Halena says:

    The granola I make fairly regularly is off Bon Appetite and it is soooo delicious. Sometimes, prep is a fail and it’s the store bought version (like right now).

    As for vegan desserts, THIS ONE takes the cake for me. I like to have it available in the freezer at all times (and have been known to cut off a chunk at 8 am).

  4. Chelsea Anthony says:

    Get yourself some ENJOY chocolate chips! They are dairy, soy, gluten & egg free!

  5. Gina,
    The granola looks delicious!!! If you’re looking for a great dessert that’s quick and easy I think I have one for you! I make these all the time for Passover because they have no flour, but they are also dairy free. Just use vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy life makes a great one) “chewy gooey flourless chocolate cookies” I’m not sure if you ever had the meringue cookies from whole foods? These are identical. Every year I make these I increase how many batches I bring. Everyone goes nuts for them! I bet Liv would like them too! I almost always add an extra egg white

  6. One of my pregnancy cravings is sugar cereal and ice cold milk. I really want Capt’n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, but am trying to be responsible because I could (and would) down the entire box in a day or so.

  7. We didn’t eat a ton of cereal as a kid, but when I was in college, my roommate and I discovered limited edition Pirates of the Caribbean cereal. It was chocolate “pearls” and pirate shaped marshmallows. We would go through a whole box in one sitting. Delicious.

  8. This would make a nice Christmas gift for sure, especially for my GF friends. I’m a weirdo and detest most sweet cereals. I like stuff like All Bran and Nature’s Path flax and grain flakes lol. Once in a while, I’ll take a low sugar granola and sprinkle a little on my cardboard cereal for some variety.

  9. Gotta have the chocolate chips 😉
    Favorite cereals were Captin Crunch, frosted flakes, and honey bunches of oats!! (If those every become gluten-free…especially the captin crunch…o boy 😉 )

  10. That post about her reflux made me tear up! You poor two!

    You probably thought of this but can you sub coconut oil for butter in your dessert recipes?

  11. Haha! I’ve made that recipe & it totally tastes like baked baby food! It was so disappointing as they looked really good.

  12. Hi Gina!
    I don’t normally comment but wanted to pop in today because I also have a crazy sweet tooth and I’ve had a serious dairy allergy for my whole life, so I’ve learned to get creative in terms of recipes! I’ve found that subbing Earth Balance margarine for butter and almond or soy milk for cow’s milk generally works pretty well, and also the blog has a ton of yummy vegan recipes! (Not affiliated with them at all, but I’m just a fan of vegan recipes!)
    Hope that you and your family get through this rough patch and that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  13. my favorite chocolate cake recipe is “wacky cake”. no milk, butter or eggs. great as cupcakes!

  14. I’ve never met a cereal I don’t like. seriously! You should try simple PB cookies with just PB, an egg and sugar…you can make them with any nut butter, too! They’re easy and tasty and dairy/gluten free!

  15. Dude yessssss, Cocoa Puffs. My siblings and I were huge Cinnamon Toast Crunch fans followed by captain crunch berries 🙂 Also, I cannot WAIT to try this new granola recipe. I’ve mad the peanut butter one every.single.week for like 2 months, and it never lasts long. Can’t wait to switch it up, although it’s hard to beat peanut butter 🙂

    Also, I’m glad you’re feeling better and encouraged by all the love from folks here, I’ve been thinking about you and glad to hear you’re doing a bit better.

    Lastly, a friend who owns a business called the “healthy grocery girl” has an amazing YouTube channel where she shares plant based recipes. Lots of AMAZING desserts (and non dessert items) to choose from. It might be a great resource for you 🙂 I know as a fitness instructor it’s soooo refreshing to take people’s classes and be told what to do for a change. Definitely re-energizes the soul, so hopefully someone sharing the “how to” of amazing goodies sans dairy will be a nice way to take some of the stress off. xoxoxo

  16. This paleo granola looks really yummy. The point is, being so apparently delicious, how can you avoid over eating it? Healthy yes, but also very tempting. I speak for myself, of course, my biggest problem is to know when to stop eating something that tastes good, healthy or not. Thumbs up for your blog.

  17. I find the best dairy free baking is only dairy free. Not grain free and egg free and and and. Once you take everything away, what on earth are you left with? Life is hard enough. Here are some delicious dairy-free brownies:

  18. This a good dairy and egg-free chocolate cake.

    3c all purpose flour
    6T cocoa, heaping
    2c sugar
    1t salt
    2c water
    3/4c veg oil
    2t vanilla
    2t vinegar (it bubbles and always a hit with little helpers)

    Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients; pour into oiled and floured 9×13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  19. This looks amazing! Going to try it out this weekend for the whole fam. I love that this recipe is so healthy but doesn’t contain crazy ingredients that I wouldn’t have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Looks delicious! My favorite cereal growing up was Golden Grahams. I wish I could still eat them every morning for breakfast 🙂

  21. Hi,
    My daughter is allergic to milk and sensitive to gluten and eggs, so when she was diagnosed I had a mild panic attack as to what kind of baking I could do. I happened upon Sarah bakes gluten free and our lives were changed. Her recipes are all gluten free and 95% are also vegan. More importantly, they are delicious. Her blog is a game-changer, I highly recommend it! is the link.

  22. This DOES look good! Healthy and so easy!! Always cranking out amazing content! xo

  23. Gina! I am so sorry to hear about P. To nurse my second kiddo I had to be vegan for several months. I did not enjoy that phase, but I did learn a lot. I hope this opens new ventures up for you – moms do need dairy free options when nursing, a lot more than one might think. Baked baby food sounds wretched. Did the cupcakes not have any sort of flour to them? Almond meal?

    • Fitnessista says:

      it is TOUGH. i gave up eggs on friday, too, because her skin is so blotchy and was wondering if it might help, and man. it is not easy. i will definitely be posting lots of egg and dairy-free options!
      and no flour in the cupcakes! just pureed egg, pumpkin and spices. bleh.

  24. If you are trying some vegan recipes to avoid dairy, you might want to try using aquafaba, the liquid in cans of chickpeas. It sounds gross, but a lot of people say it is a lifesaver! A lot of people whip it up just like egg whites and it will give baked goods some structure. It probably would help a bunch for paleo baked goods, though, I don’t think chickpeas are paleo. XD

Speak Your Mind