In this article, I take you through what makes a traditional Granola, and ask the question, is Granola paleo friendly?
Throughout this article will take a look at some of the big things you will need to look out for when it comes to supermarket brands of granola. I take a look at the traditional ingredients and some of the more modern ingredients. Finally I take a look at what you should look out for in a paleo friendly version of granola.
What Actually is Granola?
Granola is typically a breakfast or snack food very much like muesli. It traditionally consists of rolled oats, puffed rice, nuts and usually sweeteners such as brown sugar or honey. This is all then typically baked at a low temperature until it is crisp and toasted. It is usually done whilst being continually stirred to maintain a loose cereal like consistency. Food such as raisins, dates and other dried fruits are often added after to add extra flavour.
It is often regarded as a nutritious, lightweight, high in calories meal for those are enjoy a range out of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, backpacking and much more. It is especially good for travel since it is often combined into a bar form, making it easy to carry and eat.
Now if you’re keen on the paleo diet and know what you can or can’t eat you may have noticed one big food group that’s included in a traditional granola recipe that tips it right over into the big no pile and that food type in particular is oats.
Why can’t Oats be included?
While we do have a much longer article on why oats are not paleo, a slimmed down explanation is that oats are technically a cereal grain. Cereal grains are something that should be avoided on the paleo diet when possible due to the large amounts of anti-nutrients found in oats.
Some paleo experts say you can eat oats in moderation since they aren’t as bad as your everyday grains, but for our purposes we will avoid it all together. There is no point in eating something bad if there is a tasty healthier alternative.
So is Granola Paleo Friendly?
While yes, a traditional granola recipe is not paleo friendly as they tend to make a huge use of rolled oats, puffed rice and a ton of sweeteners. However, it does not mean granola is off the table completely.
There are plenty of alternative recipes that replace the rolled oats with things that are paleo friendly such as nuts and seeds and of course making a good use of honey as a natural sweetener. We have a pretty amazing paleo friendly granola on this website that you should check out.
You should however by wary of store bought Granola, the vast majority follows the traditional recipe of having rolled outs included into it.
If you do want to buy store bought Granola instead of making it yourself, be careful to check the ingredients list on the back of the packaging. You can find some store bought granola that is paleo friendly over at Amazon.
So in short, the answer to the question, Is Granola Paleo? The answer is yes it very well can be as long as you cut back or remove completely the rolled oats from the recipe and instead replace it with ingredients that are much more paleo friendly such as nuts and seeds. It still makes for a nutritious, delicious breakfast meal and snack, without the negatives of a cereal product.