Paleo Granola (Grain Free)

  With the success I’ve had with all the other low carb recipes, I thought that I’d take a stab at a recipe for just about the carb-iest meal there is: breakfast.
  We’re making granola…and we’re not using any grains.
  Here’s what you need:
2 c almonds
1 c macadamia nuts
1 c pumpkin seeds
1 c raisins*
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp kosher/sea salt
shredded coconut/dried fruit (optional)
*I mixed normal and golden raisins
  Place your nuts and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.  Cover with water.  In a separate bowl, cover your raisins with 1/2-1 cup of water.  Allow both bowls to soak overnight.
  In the morning, place the raisins with their soaking water into a food processor and blend them until smooth.  Drain your nuts and seeds in a fine mesh strainer and add to the raisins.  Chop until they are granola like in consistency.  Add in your vanilla, cinnamon and salt and mix.  As a note, the amounts in this were too much for my food processor.  If you don’t have a particularly big food processor you may need to do this in batches.
  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly across them.
  At this point you need to decide if you’re making “live” granola or not.  I’m really curious to try it, as I’m sure that just like yogurt and all sorts of other “live” foods, it’s great for you, IF you get it right.  I just figure that “last few days of a pregnancy” isn’t the best time to take any risk on food poisoning…so I went the “cook the critters out” route this time.  Add in your coconut and fruit after you bake if you’re going to add them.
  The original recipe recommends that to fully bake the granola you place both cookie sheets in the oven for 45 minutes at 250 degrees.  This yields incredibly delicious, sweet, nutty granola…that’s really moist.  Absolutely the way you want to serve it if you’re having a crowd and it will be gone that day or the next.  
  We weren’t having a crowd.  I just wanted granola for me and maybe G if he decided he liked it (he did).  The Mr. had concerns about the moisture level causing mold if it were stored as it was, and, just as he doesn’t question me when it comes to matters of needle and thread, I don’t challenge his cooking experience.  Mine went back in the oven.  I cooked it for another 3 hours at 200 degrees before getting impatient, turning it up to 250 and slightly scorching it.  Augh!  I think that an extra 2 hours at 250 or another 40 minutes at 200 (meaning 3 hrs 40 minutes total) on top of the original 45 minutes would have been about perfect.  It’s still not bad, but the scorching gives it a slight bitter taste.  Keep the temp low and keep an eye on it.
  I was surprised by how much this tastes like normal granola since there aren’t any grains in it.  I was expecting “granola” that was really trail mix.  Not so much.  I don’t think I’d have realized it was anything different if I hadn’t been the one cooking it.  All told, this is definitely a worthwhile recipe to try out if you’re a granola fan and are either trying to up your protein consumption or lower your carb intake.
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