paleo granola

Paleo Granola

I love paleo granola! This healthy grain-free breakfast “cereal” is made of just 7 ingredients –almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Purely fruit sweetened and crunchy, it’s a great paleo breakfast recipe!

I get a kick out of using the term “granola” to ridicule folks here in Boulder. However, when I’m feeling earthy, dousing myself in patchouli (which my husband dislikes to no end) I can easily apply the term to myself. Though I’m more a yuppie than a hippie. I guess that would make me a yippie.

Alas, I digress. I created this recipe for a crunchy live gluten-free granola back in 2002. And even though he’s not a hippie, yippie or yuppie, my husband loves it, and so does my younger son. The little guy eats this healthy homemade granola with whole milk yogurt, which makes for a tasty and filling snack.

Paleo Granola
Serves: 12
  1. Place nuts and seeds in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight
  2. Place raisins in a separate bowl, cover with 1 cup water and soak overnight
  3. Place raisins, along with their soaking water in a food processor and puree until smooth
  4. In a strainer, drain and rinse nuts and seeds and discard soaking water
  5. Add nuts and seeds to raisin puree in food processor and pulse until consistency of granola
  6. Briefly pulse in vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to incorporate
  7. Transfer mixture onto two large baking sheets
  8. To make live granola, place in oven on the lowest setting (usually 135°) for 24 hours
  9. For instant gratification, bake 45 minutes in oven at 250°
  10. Top with shredded coconut or dried fruit if desired
  11. Serve

Enjoy this paleo granola recipe with fresh fruit and plain yogurt. Or as I do, simply by the handful. Paleo Granola is also fantastic with my homemade Almond Milk. If you have egg allergies, this is the perfect egg-free breakfast, and you’ll also want to take a look at my Egg-Free Recipes page!

Here are some of my other healthy paleo breakfast recipes:


  1. Gabriele Murry says

    I prefer using dried cranberries over raisins. Is there a particular reason to use raisins instead? Are they healthier?

    • Elana says

      Hi Meena, yes soaking the nuts is critical to this recipe. It makes the recipe granola-like and also rids the nuts of their anti-nutrients. Enjoy :-)

  2. Kimmi G says

    Do you have the nutritional value and serving size for this recipe. I have an athlete who I think would love this, but would not put a single thing in their mouth if they can not track the nutritional information.

  3. Jeannie says


  4. Kristin says

    After reading all the comments about the mixture still being wet after baking at 250 for several hours, I put the rinsed nuts into my salad spinner and was able to get a good amount of water out. A few of the pumkin seeds did find their way through the slots in the strainer basket but I just scrapped them out after draining the water. Next time I might just add an extra tablespoon of seeds. It was nicely toasted in about 1 1/2 hours at 250. Thanks for a great recipe.

  5. Nina says

    I made this last night for an upcoming vacation. We are going to a remote lodge so I needed something I know I can eat. It turned out great! I added cranberries and shredded coconut at the end of cooking. I love that the only sweetener is the raisin puree. I’m getting rave reviews! Thanks Elena!

  6. Stacy says

    I used less than 1 cup of water but have had it in the oven for about 2 hours at 250 and it’s still wet?

    • Elana says

      Stacy, make sure when you prepare this that all of the soaking water is thoroughly drained from the nuts to prevent this :-)

  7. angela says

    Do you think I could add chia or flax seeds to this recipe? If so, would you recommend soaking them too? This sounds really yummy, thanks for posting.

  8. Stephani says

    Does anyone out there know where I can get peanut-free macadamia nuts? I read on a blog that Dole Plantation brand are peanut-free, but I cannot find them online for purchase. I know I could sub another nut, but I would really like to try this with macadamia. Thx!

    Elena – thanks for the wonderful recipes :)

  9. Gwenda says

    Hi Elana!!! Wowzers!!!! This is beautiful!! I made this last night (my first time ever making granola) and it’s just what I need to pop onto my Greek yoghurt!!! Thanks for your fantastic recipes! I have 2 of your books and use them all the time!!!

  10. LaVonne says

    I am assuming that soaking is only for raw nuts/seeds? I have already roasted pumpkin seeds and mac nuts, so I was thinking I should only soak the raw almonds and raisins.

    Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks!

  11. Brittany says

    I absolutely love this granola and so does my almost 2 year old! My ovens lowest temp is 170 so I had two baking sheets cooking for about 3 hours turning every hour or so. I just followed other reviewers and took them out when they weren’t wet anymore! I am so excited to trying this with different nuts and it will be so good with sweetened shredded coconut and dried fruits.
    Elanas, thank you so much for your impressive recipes. I have started paleo lifestyle (not diet!) and really rely on your blogs recipes for their ease, my access to ingredients to make them and that so many kid friendly! So a big big big thank you for all your hard work!!

  12. Cassandra says

    This is delicious! I jus made my first batch and enjoyed some over fresh strawberries. Need to work on the baking time for my oven, but thanks for the tasty recipe and tips (leaving in oven overnight was key for me, but I also think my batches were too big for my oven/sheet, will halve next time).

  13. Jean says

    Made this over the weekend and wanted the nuts to remain truly raw so i dehydrated at 105 (F) in the dehydrator for 24 hours – it was fantastic! The texture was perfect and the flavor was great! My twins LOVED it – ate it for breakfast this morning over some raw yogurt. Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe!!

  14. says

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for a sweetener free granola recipe! I was literally thinking today how I should make one up, but sometimes it really is nice when someone has already done it :) I have recently had to go sugar/honey/agave free so this is great!

    Thanks Elana!

  15. Tina says

    I have made this recipe twice now, and though it wasn’t as crunchy as I wanted (should have read the comments sooner!), we all still love it. My hubby is not a big nut or granola fan but he had a bowl of this for breakfast with some milk. I also had a bowl with some almond milk for breakfast.

    Actually, I just pulled a second batch out of the oven, might be time for a snack :)

    Thanks to all those who commented on how to get the granola more crispy!

  16. Jeanne J says

    Great recipe! I made it last night using slivered almonds, pecans and cashews with pumpkin seeds. After baking, I added a mix of dried bananas, pineapple, cherries, cranberries, dates and dried ginger. Very delicious! Thanks for the gluten-free version, Elana!

  17. Shayna says

    I tried a variation and it turned out awesome!
    1 cup of pumpkin seeds
    1 cup walnuts
    1 cup cashews
    1 cup pecans
    half cup of wild blueberries + half cup of raisins

    After soaking – I pureed the berries and raisins. Then poured them into a big bowl with the drained nut mix. I added the salt, vanilla and cinnamon and stirred it all together with a big spoon. Then scooped about a cup at a time into my vitamix. This blended/chopped the ingredients better.

    End result was awesome! My 4 and 2 year old gobbled it up!

  18. says

    I discovered homemade granola as a teen when I worked at a B&B. There’s no going back to the store bought stuff. Especially if your gluten intolerant. This version looks delicious, will have to add to my repatoir.

  19. Shaina says

    Is this granola good used as a breakfast cereal with milk? We have been doing a grain free diet now for a few months and my 2 year old and 3 1/2 year old are doing GREAT with it! The only thing they still ask for though is cereal in the morning and I’ve yet to find a replacement for that :(

    • Karen says

      I made it yesterday and ate it with almond milk like cereal! so much fun to eat Cereal again…. we are totally grain free as well! ( I get sick!)
      So yehaaw! for some cereal again!

  20. Lisa says

    Thank you for this fab recipe Elana! Being grain and sugar free (among other things!) means granola has been a thing of the past. Until now! I just made a double batch and will be taking it along on a 7day/6 night wilderness whitewater trip. What’s left, that is, since I can’t keep from nibbling at it. YUM

  21. says

    Hi Elana,
    Thank you so much for the work you do publishing awesome gluten-free recipes. Both my daughter and I are gluten intolerant, and your recipes and photos have inspired us to no end.
    Thank you again!

  22. says

    This is one of the few online recipes I have made (and loved!) as written, with no adjustments! My whole family enjoyed it so much that I started a second batch before the first was all gone. In fact, my mother just visited for the first time since we went grain-free, and she was really impressed. She liked this granola better than my regular oat based granola that she used to rave about. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  23. cathy hastings says

    Hi elana I absolutely love your website! Question… If we are killing most of the enzymes @ 135 and all of them @250 is the soaking of the nuts really necessary? Just wondering. Thanks for all your “deliciousness”!

  24. Pam says

    Does the granola have to be “dry” when you take it out of the oven?? Mine’s been in for almost an hour and it’s still pretty wet…

    • ~M says

      I used to have this problem of wet granola, but implementing some of these changes helped a lot and now we love our granola! If the granola is still wet after the recipe’s baking time, I recommend letting it bake for maybe 10-15 minutes longer. Then, shut off the oven, and keep the door closed with the granola inside. By the next day, it should have dried out considerably. (In my incredibly arid apartment, I might be able to leave the granola on the baking sheet on the kitchen island with the same effect).

      If you hydrated your raisins with 1 cup of water, next time I suggest using only 1/2 cup of water. Since I’ve been using only 1/2 cup of water, my batches come out much better, though I still dehydrate them further by leaving them in the closed oven overnight. Another option is to soak your nuts for a bit less time; I used to soak for 24 hours or so, but now for around 12 hours.

      I do *not* recommend raising the temperature beyond 250ºF or your nuts will burn.

      Good luck!

      • heather says

        just the comment i was looking for …THANKS!!! i tried 3 of the recipes last night and finished this morning.. granola.. cran powerbars and the cranberry loaf..AMAZING!!!!! just trying to get the granola to not be so moist.

  25. Onelasttime says

    This is a GREAT recipe.

    I have made three variations:

    * as posted

    * using dried cranberries instead of raisins

    * using dried mango and cashews (macadamia nuts seem to be lacking from the four stores I tried)

    They are all so nice. Thank you!

  26. ~M says

    I have a huge craving for your granola right now! I am so bored with the un-fortified gf cereals that I’ve taken to eating homemade chicken soup for breakfast!

    Another great breakfast: pancakes with coconut flour! They are so fluffy and filling! I used the recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill package with some tweaking, and hemp milk + apple cider in lieu of buttermilk. I’ve made them 2x, and they win rave reviews by my mom, fiance, and even picky younger brother. I’m willing to bet you could make them Elana-friendly by using your Honeyville blanched almond flour instead of the recommended white rice flour and baking soda instead of the baking powder (perhaps adding more acid in the form of apple cider vinegar) and using arrowroot for the cornstarch.

    Anyways, are you using raw or roasted almonds here in your granola recipe? Also, are they whole almonds, slivered, or sliced? I think I actually have each of the above types described. :) Take care!

  27. Jessica says

    Hi Elana – How do you store your granola (and power bars)? How long do they keep? We’re heading out on a 2 week road trip with our 2 year old and I’m looking for easy to store snacks. We’ll have a cooler with us. Thanks!

  28. says

    Hi ~M -Thanks for your comment. The raisin paste does not leave the food processor. I added a couple of words to the recipe above to make this more clear as the way I had it written didn’t quite do the job.

    Love the crockpot idea for this recipe. Not sure how it would work since I haven’t ever tried it this way. If you do it, please stop back by and let us know the results. The one issue I could see is that the granola would not crisp if it is not laid out on a flat baking sheet, evenly exposed to the heat. However, still might be worth a try in the crockpot. xo Elana

    • ~M says

      Yeah, you’re right that the oven works much better, though I did eat the crockpot version. This is fabulous with coconut milk…maybe one day you’ll make coconut milk from scratch too.

      I also sometimes add black sesame seeds as part of the nuts/seeds…they taste great (but check your teeth! :) )

  29. ~M says

    Thanks for the great recipe, Elana!
    Also, I wonder if you couldn’t “bake” this in a crockpot on low (I think this is usually about 200ºF), possibly with a chopstick or wooden spoon to let the steam out, for slightly less than 24 hours. It would use much less electricity, allow you to leave the house, and not heat up the entire kitchen in the summertime. These are the reasons why I use my crockpot to poach chicken breasts for salads (without propping, for 3 hours on high).

    As always, take care!

  30. Jessica says

    I just made this recipe, it is yummy! I was under the impression that for something to be considered a “raw” or “living” food it can not be heated higher than 110-120 degrees? So this is technically not a “raw” food? Is that right?

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