Corn-Free Paleo Granola

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Corn-Free Paleo Granola with Dried Cranberries

My Foodie-in-Crime paid me a high compliment with this granola when he referred to it as my “Cracker Jacks”. Of course we corn allergics don’t eat them, but caramel corn used to be one of my favorite snacks prior to identifying my allergy. His comment makes it clear that this is a crunchy, nutty and caramel flavored granola, so if that is what you like in your granola, this is the one for you.

This granola is grain free and it allows for flexibility with the types of nuts and seeds used, so if the ones I have listed are not safe for you, switch them out for those which are. For example, if you prefer walnuts to pecans, use them. Sunflower seeds are a nice choice if you prefer to avoid coconut or another nut or seed.  Play around with flavors and enjoy a good for you cereal option.

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Corn-Free Paleo Granola

Ingredient
1/2 cup cashews or pecans
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds  (pepitas)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or shortening
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
-dried fruit such as cranberries, dates, raisins, berries or cherries (optional)
-spice such as cinnamon or pumpkin pie blend as desired (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 275°F . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse cashews, almonds & pumpkin seeds in food processor until a rather  course meal is reached.  Place in a bowl. Add remaining seeds & coconut. Mix well.

Place sweetener, oil or shortening, sea salt &, if using, vanilla &/or spices to a small saucepan. Heat until bubbles form.  Remove from heat. Pour over seeds & nuts. Mix well to coat.

Place on cookie sheet as thinly as possible. Bake about 15 minutes. Stir granola. Return to oven to bake at 225°F an additional 15 minutes or until golden. The granola may still be soft, but it will become crispy as it cools.

Enjoy in milk as a cereal, in a smoothie bowl, on a frozen treat or as a snack.

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A Quick & Easy Snack (Paleo, Vegan)

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One question Corn Allergics often have is: “What is a quick snack I can have?”  This is a great question which poses difficulty because of course we cannot usually just pick up a packaged snack at a local grocery store like most people can. We also almost always need to make our snacks from scratch.

Okay, we’ve identified the difficulty, now for an easy and relatively quick solution that even the kiddos will enjoy.  My trick is to leave the plate out at the little ones’ level and they serve themselves as they become hungry and we avoid the scramble of finding a snack. This is also a good on the go snack, simply allow to cool and place in a container.

While this snack does include nuts, seeds can be used too.  In the photo above, I used pecans, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds. Pepitas and sesame seeds would also work as would other nuts. I have to confess that the smell of the cashews as they roast trigger a memory of stovetop popped popcorn…I know, I know popcorn is a no-go, but with this trick I am safely able to enjoy a childhood comfort food vicariously AND not only is it more nutritious, I don’t get the dreaded “corned rash”.

I have tried adding spices to the recipe, but I advise against it as they turn brown/black and aren’t so tasty. I would avoid added sweeteners as the cashew’s sweetness is enriched and stands when roasted.

This recipe does not include amounts as it comes down to preference of ingredients as well as desired quantity, so play around with what works for you, enjoy, and let me know your favorite combination(s) in a comment below.

Ingredients
nuts & / or seeds (safe for you)
Avocado oil (or coconut oil)
Sea salt

Method
Select nuts & / or seeds you will use. Warm oil in a saucepan (about 10 inch). Place nuts (seeds) in saucepan. Season with sea salt if using. Stir somewhat frequently so as to not burn. When you begin to smell the nuts, be more vigilant & know they are almost ready. Remove from heat when desired “roast” is reached. Allow to cool & enjoy.

Espécie Flavored / Spiced Nut & Seed Brittle (Paleo, Vegan)

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Spiced Nut & Seed Brittle

Having a corn allergy is a challenge, but add other allergies and snacking becomes a greater challenge.  I’ve created this snack recipe to be paleo and vegan friendly as well as to be open to the possibility of allergies to nuts. If your child cannot take nuts to school, use seeds instead and maybe experiment with dried fruits and coconut flakes. If there is a nut allergy like mine to walnuts, use a safe for you (SFY) nut or combination.

1 flax  (or chia) egg = 1 tbsp ground seed + 3 tbsp warm water
1/8 cup chia seeds, whole
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp anise extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch black pepper
1 3/4 cups nuts or seeds or combo*

Preheat oven to 300.

Make flax (or chia) egg. Mix all ingredients together except nuts & / or seeds. Do add chia now for a further gelling effect. Add nuts & / or seeds. Toss to coat. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees until slightly browned / desired crispiness, about 30 mins.

When brittle is cool, break into snack sized pieces. Enjoy!

*Notes: I like the combination of pecans, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds as seen in the photo above.

This recipe is versatile enough to be a single nut brittle or one of combinations. Be adventurous and try filberts, pine or macadamia nuts. I don’t imagine that pistachios would be complimented by the spice combo, but if you try them, let me know what you think.

If you are not vegan & cannot have seeds, but can have egg, an egg white should do the trick.