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Paleo Chai Spice Grain Free Granola (Gluten Free, Oat Free)

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I have to bring all of the snacks on the airplane. All of them. Or, at least, all of the snacks that aren’t candy and potato chips. What if I get hungry and I’m stuck on a plane for 8 more hours and they’re out everything but that candy sampler box with gummy bears?! It’s something to have nightmares about. My tendency to pack lots of food has earned me some strange looks at security on multiple occasions. I tend to get stopped for the personalized treatment at security and customs. I think it’s because I meet the profile for ‘people we have to stop to prove we’re not profiling.’ Short blond gringa? She’s not doing anything wrong – let’s stop her! Or maybe they suspect me of trying to start a cash only illicit snack bar in the sky. I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve been asked “this is all for you?” several times by various security employees while they rummaged through my snacks.

But anyway.

Ever since I made my own grain-free granola the other week, I’ve been meaning to do it again. Life’s been busy, though, and I kept putting it off, Finally, I decided I had to make the time to create more granola because I wanted to add it to my bag of snacks for my trip to the East Coast. The chocolate coconut granola was great, but I decided to make a chai spice version this time, instead. It’s just as tasty and smells even better in the oven!

Paleo Chai Spice Granola Recipe (oat and grain free!)I’ve learned something nifty while making these grain-free granolas – if you scoop the coconut oil out with a measuring spoon and then squeeze the honey into the same measuring spoon without wiping it down, the honey will slide right out instead of sticking to the spoon! Pretty cool, huh?I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Almonds are hard nuts, but walnuts and pecans are pretty soft. That’s why the recipe says to put the almonds in the food processor and pulse them a few times before you add the other guys. I wanted to mix things up a bit so I left the sunflower and pumpkin seeds out this time, but they go great in the granola, too. To use four different nuts/seeds, just decrease the quantity of each to 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 cup.

Make sure to use a nice, heavy rimmed baking sheet when you pop the granola in the oven. A cheap, flimsy one may warp and spill some of your delicious granola. No bueno.

grain free chai spice granola

I was honestly pretty surprised once I went to package my granola up for storage after the ‘photo shoot.’ That’s all?! I thought. I may or may not have been grazing on it while taking photos.

Paleo Chai Spice Granola

The way the recipe is written produces granola that is delightfully warm tasting, but not overpowering. If you’re one of those people who really likes spicy things, consider punching up the amount of ginger and black pepper.

chai spice mix

Just don’t get super crazy with the cloves your you’ll numb your mouth and won’t taste anything else! Also, too much cinnamon can get bitter, so don’t go overboard there, either.

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Paleo Chai Spice Grain Free Granola (Gluten Free, Oat Free)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup unsalted almonds
  • ⅔ cup walnut halves
  • ⅔ pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla exact
  • 12 teaspoon dried, ground ginger (increase to 1 teaspoon if your dried ginger is old or if you prefer more spice)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF
  2. Combine the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and spices in a small bowl.
  3. Place the almonds in a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until they're mostly chopped up, but not ground. You're not trying to make almond butter!
  4. Add the walnuts and pecans and pulse until they're broken into smaller bits, but still not quite as small as you're ultimately aiming for.
  5. Add the spice mixture to the food processor, making sure to get all the goodness out by using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, and process until all the nuts look evenly coated and are broken down into small enough pieces to make you happy.
  6. Spread the granola out in a heavy rimmed baking tray.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the granola is just starting to look golden and dry.
  8. Stir the granola, then turn off the oven and let the granola rest for at least 10 additional minutes in the oven, or until it's dry enough to make you happy. Just don't let it burn!
  9. Allow the granola to cool fully before transferring it to an airtight container for storage.
  10. Enjoy on your cereal or yogurt, or just by itself!

Can you really blame me for taste testing while taking pictures? It’s practically begging to be eaten.

chai spice nut granola

It’s easy to enjoy this nutty granola by the handful, on ‘traditional’ cereal, in a bowl by itself, on top of yogurt, etc., etc. I bet it would even make a totally delicious ice cream sundae topping! The thought is enough to make me strongly consider breaking out the ice cream attachment for my mixer…

What’s your favorite way to enjoy granola?

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Cheryl April 28, 2015, 17:20

    This looks so delish!!

    • Natashalh April 28, 2015, 17:24

      Thank you! It really is. Sadly, this batch is gone now and I need to find the time to make more!

  • Paige April 22, 2015, 04:19

    I’ve gotten stopped for the “look, we’re not profiling!” quota, too. Ugh. Gangly brunette trying to read her Kindle? Perfect!

    Nobody on an airline has asked if all of my snacks are for me, but last year when my sister and I went on our road trip, I put a ton of homemade trail mix into a gallon-sized bag. My sister was like, “What are going to DO with that?” Hahaha.

    • Natashalh April 24, 2015, 06:14

      Ahahaha. Yep – that sounds about like it! Stop the least suspicious looking person to prove you stop everyone. Several years ago my grandmother got the full search twice in the same airport!

      I brought a huge bag of trail mix back with me and I still have some of it, but it’s so much better to have leftovers than be starting on the road! Glad I’m not the only one who brings lots of snacks. =)

  • Duni April 21, 2015, 21:35

    I love granola and yours looks super delicious! I dislike the sweet or salty snacks they serve on planes too. Luckily I can sneak in my fruit bars – I always get strange looks from other passengers when I unwrap my own bar while they chomp on dry pretzels…
    I once brought along my own lactose-free sandwich, but security disposed of it.

    • Natashalh April 24, 2015, 06:10

      =( I wonder why they took your sandwich. In the US you can bring it, as long as it’s wrapped.

      Because my first flight was within the Mainland US, I managed a delicious organic apple and a couple bananas. Yay!

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