We mentioned paleo, but I think we got away with it! Hasn’t it become a controversial word? Paleo food is, apparently, based on what we ate in the Stone Age, when we sat around hacking at rock in the hope of making a wheel, or hunted woolly mammoths in the pristine forest. (But not dinosaurs, of course – we know our Mesozoic from our Paleolithic, thank you very much.)
The Paleolithic era was early Stone Age and, amazingly, lasted 99 per cent of the entire time humans have been on the planet (not counting the awkward bit when we were sort of tadpoley, or dinosaurish birds). It started 2.5 million years ago and ended around 10 000 BCE, when we started making things with bronze. Ironic… because it would’ve been nice to have a lovely bronze spoon for eating our paleo granola.
The paleo diet was created in 1975 by Walter Voegtlin and involved a huge amount of meat. He called it the ‘Stone Age diet’ and suggested that eating like our ancestors might be healthier. Hang on, is that right? Others say it was invented by Loren Cordain, who trademarked the name in 2002. But back in the 1890s John Harvey Kellogg (yes, Mr Cornflakes) was writing that a primitive diet was healthier than our modern one. (What on earth was offending him in the 1890s? No pot noodles, no fizzy soda, no fast-food, no sugary breakfast cereal… oh, hang on…)
From the outset there were clashing opinions. Some paleo fans ate grains; others proclaimed ‘bread is the staff of death’. (Maybe not someone we’d choose to sit next to at lunchtime.) Some felt the diet should be plant based; others, especially more recently, love their meat products. All of them, though, shun processed foods. And this is what we take from the paleo phenomenon.
For us, paleo means no processed foods, no refined sugar, no additives – just real ingredients. It’s an even more historic version of our mantra ‘only eat what Grandma would recognise’. ‘Only eat what your Stone Age ancestors would recognise.’
We like to describe our paleo granola as ‘all killer, no filler’. It’s just a beautiful mix of original nuts and seeds, tossed with coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla, baked until golden and finished with cacao nibs and chia seeds. Make a big batch and you’re sorted for weeks. It’s a top, nutritious, delicious breakfast, whatever era you find yourself in.
½ cup of blanched almonds
2 tbls Hazelnuts (skin off)
2 tbls Walnuts
½ cup Cashews
2 tbls Pepitas
¾ cup Shredded coconut
2 tbls Sunflower seeds
1.5 teaspoon Cacao nibs
1 tbls Coconut oil
2 tbls Maple syrup
½ tsp Vanilla bean paste
1 tbls Chia seeds
2 tbls Dried cranberries
Pulse chop the nuts, leaving some smaller and some larger.
Mix nuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut.
Pulse chop the cacao nibs til broken into small pieces.
Melt coconut oil and add the maple syrup and vanilla bean, mix through the nut mixture.
Preheat oven to 165 degrees. Spread the mix out onto paper lined baking trays and cook for 25 mins, stirring a few times during the cooking time.
Allow to cool, then stir through the cacao nibs, chia seeds and cranberries.