Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sweet Freedom "Paleo" Granola (Grain Free, Dairy Free, Processed Sugar-Free)

For this month's Leftovers Club, I was paired with Ginger from Stark Raving Delicious. I read that Ginger recently started following a grain-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free diet which was challenging for me. Although I recently made all gluten-free cupcakes for a wedding, coming up with recipes to meet special dietary restrictions is challenging and often involves a lot of research.

For example, by reading this article on Grain Free Living, I learned that there are hidden sources of grains in many foods you wouldn't think would have them.
Even though Ginger was sweet enough to say she didn't have any dietary restrictions, I definitely wanted to send her something she could enjoy, but I didn't want to take risk inadvertently including a ingredient that contained any of her allergens so I immediately thought of nuts!
Nuts are healthy, are not a grain and can be made into "granola" or trail mix that is free from dairy and processed sugar while still tasting delicious - yay!

While the combination of ingredients I used is more of a "trail-mix", I decided to call it "granola" because of the chunky texture it gets during the baking and cooling process. Although the recipe doesn't contain any grains, you really feel like you're eating granola.
Regardless of what you call it, and whether or not you are following a special diet, this Paleo "Granola" is a definite winner when you're looking for a
guilt-free sweet-salty snack.

As a matter of fact, this 'granola' is my new addiction....
Sweet Freedom "Granola"
Makes approx 6 cups of granola
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1/2 cup raw unsalted pepitas
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy)
1 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes (get the large flake size)
1/4 cup clover honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (in solid form)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt (do not use regular table salt)


Preheat oven to 300f and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the cashews, almonds and coconut in a food processor and pulse a few times just to break up some of the pieces.

Place the honey, coconut oil and vanilla in a large microwave safe bowl and heat approx 40 seconds. Stir well to melt the coconut oil. 

Add the nut-coconut mixture to the bowl and add the pepitas. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine making sure the mixture is evenly coated.

Dump onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes then stir. Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the nuts are browned and toasted.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the dried cranberries and salt over the mixture. Toss to combine then spread in an even layer and flatten slightly to compact the mixture. You want the mixture to harden into a solid mass as it cools so you can break it up into chunks once it has cooled.

Allow to cool for 20-25 minutes then break into chunks. Add dark chocolate chips (or any other add ins you want) and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Enjoy your new addiction! 


If you'd like to receive yummy goodies in the mail from fellow bloggers each month, why not sign up to participate in The Leftovers Club. You (and your tummy) will love it!
Note: If you're wondering if the Enjoy Dark Chocolate Chips are considered paleo (like I did), check out this article on The Paleo List. The dark chocolate chips are widely accepted as being paleo.


  1. This granola looks good enough for anyone regardless of their dietary restrictions!

    1. Thanks Erin! I think it would be great in a cookie : )

  2. This looks SO good. I love everything in it!!

    1. Thanks Shaina! I love how you & your partner this month both made fudge : )

  3. I love the name, and can't wait to try it. So excited!

  4. Aww so sweet of you to cater to Ginger's diet!! This granola looks so you wouldn't even notice that it's GF!

    1. Thanks Joanne! You totally don't. The only thing you notice is how good it is! : )

  5. I love how packed full of goodies your granola is. I would love to make up a batch and snack on it.

  6. I love granola, and yours looks SOOO good!