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This Best Grain-free Granola recipe is definitely the best Keto and Paleo granola ever. You’ll seriously never need another granola recipe. The best texture, the best digestibility (from easy soaked nuts), great macronutrients and the best flavors. This delicious low-carb cereal is crunchy-but-melt-in-your-mouth for a sweet low carb breakfast. Plus, it is refined-sugar free, vegan, and gluten free too!
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My granola background
I was a vegetarian for 10 years. During those ten years I ate granola every single morning for breakfast. It was my favorite food, and I made it homemade. I also tried several store-bought brands. Truth be told, my favorite granola was the Quaker brand I’d grown up with, because it was made with lots of fat; so it crumbled just right in your mouth, unlike the fat-free granolas that were soon to emerge on the market.
My youngest likes to play the “What Would You…” game. One of his favorite questions is: “If you were stranded on a deserted island for the rest of your life, what 10 foods would you choose to have on the island with you?”
Sprouted nuts, chunky muffins and this Grain-free Keto Paleo Granola are among my top 10. Nuts, seeds, fat. I love the texture of these foods as they crush and crumble in the mouth! 😉
The Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
I’m sure you’ve eaten a lot of granolas in your life too!
Some are too crunchy or chewy, some too sweet, and some get soggy in your milk.
And then there’s this recipe. It’s the best granola I’ve ever eaten, and it’s grain/oat-free! The clusters are as big as you want them. Some are quite big — like huge chunks of granola bar. Some are small, as small as you like, because you can break the chunks up into desired sizes before storing it.
The texture is granola-sublimity! Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola completely holds its shape in milk; the clusters stay like granola bar chunks. But when you put it in your mouth it breaks up just right; it crumbles under pressure. That sensation!
The flavor… is happiness, seriously: it’s the perfect sweetness, satisfying, pleasurable, nutty. And yet, it tastes like classic granola!
Brazil nuts and flax seed meal
You can make this granola with any (low carb) nut, but I do recommend Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts create the perfect texture in Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola!
(Side note: Brazil nuts are the best food source of selenium, which is great for thyroid health and great for general detoxification.)
You know, at Christmas time, when there’s a bowl of nuts out, which ones always get picked over and left behind, right?! I used to eat them because I felt sorry for them: the Brazil nuts. They’re big; and their texture is kind of mealy and weird. They can never be chewed down all the way because of their unusual fiber-chew.
As it turns out, Brazil nuts create THE superior texture in this granola. I’ve tried other nuts, and I’m happy to say Brazil nuts contribute the best texture. The nuts soak overnight (easy-peasy) before you make this recipe, so their nutrients are bio-available and easy to digest.
This recipe also uses flax seed meal. I give alternatives (below in the recipe) if you’re sensitive to this seed, but flax lends a nice quality. The fat in the seed helps to create the perfect crumble texture.
Additional ingredients in Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
What other ingredients make this granola so good?
- sunflower seeds — I love how affordable sunflower seeds are, which is great if you plan to make this recipe often. You could also use another seed, such as pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or pine nuts.
- veggie or fruit purée — For a veggie purée that’s low carb, I use cooked zucchini. You can just steam it and mash it, and you don’t need a lot. For non-low carb purée: You can use any, including applesauce, melon purée or even canned pumpkin. If you choose to purée fruits like peaches, your whole granola will be infused with their subtle flavor.
- fat of choice — melted coconut oil or avocado oil
- low carb liquid sweetener for Keto and Low Carb, maple syrup for Paleo and Vegan OR honey for GAPS, or if preferred
- chia seed meal — Ground up chia seeds (I use my coffee grinder to do this) also help to create the right texture, that granola bar-type crumble and big clusters.
Part of what makes this recipe work so well is blending the soaked nuts with fat and sweetener, which when dehydrated, creates that healthy crunchy cookie texture!
How to make Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
One of the techniques that makes this recipe unique is the soaking of the seeds and nuts.
We soak Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds overnight in salted water to reduce anti-nutrients.
Raw nuts and seeds are soaked for two reasons:
- It’s easier to purée or process nuts that have been softened through soaking.
- Soaking in salted water makes the raw nuts and seeds think it’s time to germinate, which makes them more digestible.
Soaking is easy. Overnight the nuts and seeds soak in the salted water. In the morning, they get rinsed and are ready to use.
This added step makes Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola gentler on the stomach and even more nutritious.
We blend the soaked nuts and seeds with fat and sweetener … and stir them with chia seeds and flax seeds, to create an amazing texture — once the granola is dehydrated.
Variations on Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
- As mentioned earlier, you can use a different nut than Brazil nuts — such as hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans.
- Add whole or chopped sprouted nuts or seeds if you want some big nut chunks in your bowl — such as hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Add freeze-dried berries to the finished and fully cooled granola, for a berry-flavored granola.
- Paleo, GAPS and Vegan: After the granola is done dehydrating, you can add chopped dried fruit — such as diced apples, figs or dates. Stir it in before storing.
How to serve Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
- One of the yummiest ways to eat this granola is on top of a smoothie bowl.
- Top granola with your favorite milk. Add optional berries.
- Because Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola is broken into big clusters, you can also bring it for a snack, like a granola bar. It’s super good eaten out of hand (no milk needed).
- Eat with homemade yogurt: Cashew, Tiger Nut or Oat Milk Yogurt.
I hope you get to make this former vegetarian’s favorite granola. I know you’ll love it and never need another recipe.
How to store Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
I like to store Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola in mason jars. They’re airtight and keep granola fresh beautifully. Mason jars are also pretty to look at and fit nicely in the pantry or fridge.
You can also put your grain-free granola in any airtight storage container you prefer and have on hand.
Like cereal, granola can be kept in the pantry, cupboard, counter or even in the fridge, up to you.
Best Keto Paleo Grain-free Granola
- dehydrator or low-temperature oven
- blender or food processor
- 16 ounces Brazil nuts or other preferred nut, raw, soaked overnight in salt water (see Recipe Notes below for easy soaking method)
- 2 cups sunflower seeds or other preferred seed or nut, raw, soaked overnight in salt water (see Recipe Notes for easy soaking method)
- 1 cup veggie or fruit puree: I use cooked zucchini for Keto and Low Carb, watermelon purée, apple sauce or even canned pumpkin for Paleo
- ½ cup low carb liquid sweetener for Keto and Low Carb , maple syrup for Paleo and Vegan OR raw honey for GAPS Diet
- ½ cup coconut oil melted, or avocado oil
- ⅓ cup flax seed meal OR cassava flour for Paleo (not cassava for Keto or GAPS)
- ⅓ cup chia seed meal, (blend ¼ cup chia seeds in high speed blender or coffee grinder for 10 seconds; then measure out the ⅓ cup, reserving any leftovers in the fridge for next time)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Working in 2 batches place wet, rinsed, (soaked) nuts into blender and pulse to create a meal. Only a few bigger chunks will remain. Dump the nuts as you go into a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the sunflower seeds. Use a spatula to scrape them all into mixing bowl with Brazil nuts.
- Add all remaining ingredients into bowl: veggie or fruit purée, sweetener, melted fat, flax meal, chia meal and cinnamon. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
- Grease dehydrator sheets or two large baking pans (if you're dehydrating in the oven). Spread granola out into a 1/2" chunky layer. Set dehydrator or oven to 140 degrees. Dehydrate until granola is dry on top but still a bit moist underneath (times vary depending on machine). Use an offset spatula to flip big sections. Return granola to dehydrator until totally dry and crispy. Break into large and small chunks and allow to cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
How to Soak Nuts and Seeds (for Better Digestion) — it's easy!Place raw sunflower seeds and raw Brazil nuts (or other nut of choice) in a large bowl. Cover with room temperature, filtered water by two inches, and add 2 tsp. sea salt. Stir well to dissolve salt. Leave out overnight at room temperature to soak. Drain in a colander, and rinse well.
Below are older images of the recipe, made with hazelnuts! 🙂
Let me know how you like it when you make this granola! 🙂
Renee Kohley says
Gosh we make granola every month or so and I never think to add flax or chia! Great idea!
Megan Stevens says
Oh good!! Enjoy!
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
I LOVE granola, I need to make some. I love that you used watermelon puree as the fruit puree, so fun!
Megan Stevens says
Thanks!! Enjoy! 🙂
linda spiker says
Mmmmmm! Brazil nuts! What a fun addition. I love them.
Megan Stevens says
Yay!! I love that you love them! 😉
Anna @GreenTalk says
Now I know what I am going to use for my raspberry seeds when I deseed them for making jam. Granalo!
Megan Stevens says
Yay!! That sounds like a glorious use for them!! Great idea.
Beth Atha says
Could you make this without the fruit and chia seeds?
Or at least without the chia? I need to make it fit GAPS..
Megan Stevens says
We always ate chia on GAPS and found them helpful. But I understand if you feel you shouldn’t. In that case, I would sub the chia for flax. (So double the flax, and omit the chia.) Also, I can’t eat fruit, which is why I use watermelon puree, because it’s not a fruit. You could also sub in pureed winter squash or pumpkin, if you can’t eat fruit. 🙂
Beth Atha says
Thanks Megan!! That is so helpful 🙂
I didn’t know watermelon wasn’t a fruit! Is it the same with other melons? As far as chia, I guess we might give it a go and see how we do 🙂
Megan Stevens says
Yes, it’s the same with all melons. They’re in their own category with cucumbers. 🙂 Blessings!
Why rinse the nuts and seeds after soaking? I never get why ppl do this. Or rinse soaked grains. I do rinse soaked beans as I add vinegar so I want to get as much off as possible as it makes them hard to cook.
Hi Helene, we rinse off the nuts and seeds because they soak in heavily salted water. Otherwise, rinsing is optional. 🙂
Hi Megan, would the 16 oz of Brazil or other nuts be measured the same in each for cups, or do you need to use a scale to measure it?
I may have made this before, but would like to try it again soon!
Hi Dorothy, you don’t need to weigh. If you buy bagged nuts and they’re already packaged by ounces, the weight can be helpful. Otherwise, feel free to measure with cups. 🙂
Thanks for these recipes. At the end of the article it mentions your old granola recipe used hazelnuts instead of brazil nuts. I’m not a big fan of brazil nuts and would rather use hazelnuts. Could you please let me know if any different steps should be taken using hazelnuts (ex: different soak times, etc? Thanks!
Hi Derek, you’re welcome. No problem using hazelnuts, yummy! The soaking time will be the same, and the time in the dehydrator will be very similar. Enjoy!
If the sweetner/sugar is completely omitted, would the recipe still work? Or would something else need to be added in its place? I’m trying not to eat any sort of sugar or keto alternative but keen to try this recipe!
Unfortunately, with granola, sweetener really is needed. It affects the texture so much. I’m sorry!