Just one look . . .

That’s all it took to realize the granola and trail bars lining the local store shelves would never make it to my pantry.  The labels told the truth: Containing unhealthy fats, sugars, and other processed additives, the pre-packaged, grab-and-go options offered little in the form of nutrition.

Solution? Create a healthy snack with hand-picked ingredients I could trust.  With a little creative combining and a few tweaks, the following quick and easy granola recipe has become a family favorite. Perfect on it’s own to squash that mid-day hunger strike, or sprinkle on top of oatmeal or yogurt for a healthy boost. In fact, I think I’ll grab a handful right now . . .

Feel free to substitute and experiment a little based on your own preferences. Enjoy!

picture of shelled fresh walnuts

Picture of raw honey in glass jar on wooden board

picture of whole shelled pecans in white bowl

picture of dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Combine the nuts, seeds, and ground flax in a large bowl. Heat the oil and honey (about 20 seconds in the microwave), then stir in vanilla, cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, and salt. Pour over the nuts/seeds and mix until coated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 1 hour, mixing it up every 15 minutes. When done baking, put the granola in a clean bowl and allow it to cool. Then add the dried cranberries and store in an air-tight container.

Heat the honey and coconut oil separately, then combine before adding the spices.

I prefer whole pecans and walnuts in my granola, but you can also break them up into smaller pieces by putting them in a plastic bag and rolling over the nuts with a rolling pin.

Substitute raisins or goji berries for cranberries or try a mixture of all three!

Store granola in large airtight jars and smaller portion-size containers for an easy on-the-go snack.

Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here are a few items I found on Amazon to make my Paleo Granola. Just click on the photos below for more info and quick links.