Chocolate Paleo "Granola"
Although oats are a great alternative to wheat products, they still contain a substantial amount of carbohydrates. When eaten alone in the form of granola (which most granola has additional sweeteners added and dried fruit) it can most certainly spike blood sugar and insulin leading to insulin resistance and increased body fat storage and will leave you feeling hungry. For this reason I always recommend eating traditional granola WITH a protein or fat containing food to stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety. This granola recipe, however, is not your average granola recipe in that NO oats or grains whatsoever are used in the making of this chewy, crunchy and satisfying "granola". The secret ingredient in this recipe is almond butter which gives this granola a chewy and crunchy texture similar to granola made with oats. This recipe is the perfect snack to munch on all on its own or can be used to make the most perfect topping on your favorite yogurt. If following a Whole30 or Ketogenic Diet; you can remove the Maple Syrup from the recipe to have a slightly sweet low carb granola!
4 cups raw mixed nuts (I used a "fancy mixed nut" blend which was mixture of cashews, pecans, almonds and brazil nuts)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
3-4 tbsp real maple syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 275F. Place the mixed nuts into food processor and pulse 2-4 times until desired "granola" consistency is achieved and pour nuts into medium mixing bowl. You might consider splitting the nuts into two batches to control the consistency when pulsing in the food processor. In a small glass mixing bowl heat almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup until melted and stir in vanilla extract, salt and raw cacao powder. Pour melted coconut mixture over processed mixed nuts and mix well. Spread nut mixture onto lined baking sheet and bake on center rack for 20-25 minutes or until toasted. Cool completely before putting in storage container. Top on your favorite yogurt or eat alone!