This protein rich granola is one of my go to meal prep and breakfast recipes. My husband is Type 1 diabetic and prefers to eat foods that don’t surge his sugars. Most breakfast cereals and granolas in the market either have grains or refined sugars or both. Not to mention, a very small box can be quite expensive. I also find this granola to keep my blood sugars low, and make for a food that is friendly to keep my weight and hormones in check.
This granola recipe is low carb vegan, Whole30 friendly, grain free, refined sugar free and a great source of protein. It is also budget friendly! Enjoy it any time as a healthy breakfast or snack and it also freezes very well. We often take this as a snack while traveling. This is one of the most versatile recipes to have in your arsenal!
Importance of Protein Rich Breakfast
Why keep our breakfast low sugar and low carbohydrate? Our western diets are full of refined carbs. The sugars in these carbs lead to high blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, especially as we age. This can in turn make us gain weight around the middle, cause inflammation and brain fog. Scientific studies have shown that consistently present inflammation leads to many aging diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, arthritis, and even some cancers. However, not all carbohydrates are bad. Healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and some whole grains are important sources of energy and nutrients our bodies need.
What’s the deal with banana in this recipe?
Banana helps clump this granola together. For this recipe, make sure to use a banana that is not too ripe. Bananas that are slightly unripe (green-ish) have a high resistant starch content and a low sugar content. They also have a probiotic bacteria and help you absorb certain nutrients like calcium better than ripe bananas can.
Feel free to customize the recipe with your favorite nuts and seeds
For this protein rich granola, you can use any seeds or nuts you have on hand. Sometimes, depending on what I have in the pantry, I use walnuts or macadamia nuts instead of cashews. In terms of seeds, you can also sprinkle some flax or sesame seeds. This is an easy recipe to customize it to your preference.
Some ingredients to play with:
- Spices: Cardamom powder, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, vanilla powder or essence
- Nuts: Pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts
- Dried fruit: Goji berries, raisins, cranberries, sugar and sulfur free dried pineapple, organic dried apple etc.
6 Ways to Enjoy Granola
- As is. Makes for a perfect afternoon snack. So so good!
- Have it with homemade almond milk or any plant based milk. Here’s my recipe of the most delicious almond milk.
- Sprinkle on top of your favorite fruit salad.
- Add it on top of your favorite yogurt.
- Sprinkle on top of chia pudding for a paleo-friendly breakfast, snack or dessert.
- Give as a gift to a loved one!
Protein Rich Paleo Granola
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 4 tbsp hemp seeds
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- ¼ tsp himalayan salt
- 1 banana not too ripe (this is important to keep sugars low)
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup maple syrup good quality
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 275 °F.
- In a food processor or blender, add almonds and cashews. Pulse a few time but don't chop too much.
- In a bowl, mash banana. Add maple syrup, vanilla essence and olive oil to this mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix.
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir to mix.
- Spread granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir and flip around 18 minute mark.
- Allow to cool for about 20 minutes or until hardened. Store in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 2 weeks.
- If you’d like to add dried fruit e.g. dried cranberries or raisins, make sure to do so once the granola has cooled down. Otherwise, the dried fruit can get very hard.
- Feel free to play with ingredients and add any nuts and seeds you’d like. Just remember that high fat nuts like walnuts and macadamia might go rancid quickly. So better to store this in the fridge.
- Make sure to let the granola completely cool down before storing it.
- I often soak the almonds and cashews for 4-6 hours to make them better for digestion.
- Get the highest quality ingredients you can afford, it will make a big difference in the taste.
What are your favorite granola add in’s? We’d love to hear – comment below.