Since I’ve been following this Paleo diet for quite a while now, my body and mind have adapted and I really don’t have too many cravings that can’t be satisfied in a paleo way. However, there is one kind of strange food that I do crave on occasion – cereal.
I’m not sure what it is about cereal that is so crave-able, but I’ve heard other people say they crave cereal as well, so I know I’m not alone here. Maybe it’s the crunch of the cereal mixed with the cold creamy milk? Whatever it is, about once a year, I give into the craving and serve myself up a little dish of Honey Nut Cheerios with some ice cold honest to goodness cow’s milk. And it is soooo good.
Not that I think Cheerios are all that awful, they are in fact gluten free now, but I wanted something a little more nutritious for my cereal cravings. Hence this paleo granola. There are lots of similar recipes floating around the internet, but what I think is so special about this recipe is that instead of cup after cup of six or seven different types of nuts, it uses one bag of mixed nuts plus some walnuts. Easy peasy.
It’s important to buy raw nuts because all nuts contain anti-nutrients that are difficult on your digestive system. You counteract those anti-nutrients in this way:
- add nuts to a bowl, add 1 teaspoon sea salt and enough water to cover the nuts by two inches
- cover the bowl and set aside for 12 hours or overnight
- after soaking time, rinse nuts thoroughly
- spread nuts out on a sheet pan and bake at the lowest temperature your oven will allow (for mine it’s 175 degrees)
- bake, stirring occasionally until nuts are dried out and crisp, typically 4-6 hours, depending on the type of nuts (How do you know if they’re dried out and crisp? Eat one!)
- store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer
Once your nuts are soaked and dried, they are ready for snacks or for use in recipes.
For this recipe, and the taste my family prefers, I use Trader Joe’s fancy mixed raw nuts. There is a great variety in that little bag. Different nuts bring different nutrients and different flavors to the table. This particular mix includes brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts.
You can, of course, use any mix of nuts you like or have on hand, but using this one bag makes the recipe easier and the resulting granola has a great buttery taste, without any butter!
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try the next time you face a serious cereal craving. I love to eat a few bites of this before a morning workout or for dessert at the end of a long day. It’s great on top of your non-dairy ice cream or yogurt or mixed with almond butter and chopped apples or bananas. There are so many ways to enjoy this granola, it will not last long. But if you can restrain yourself, it will last well at room temperature, in a well-sealed container for a couple of weeks.