There are certain things that make sticking to a ketogenic diet easier. As much as I love meat, eggs, healthy fats and vegetables, there are times when I can’t face another egg, and I just want something that at least resembles a grain product, like bread, cookies or cereal. And sometimes, you just need something a bit sweet. Or something crunchy.
That’s where this granola comes in. It’s sweet, thanks to non-nutritive natural sweeteners. It’s crunchy, thanks to the long baking time. It can be eaten dry, like a cookie substitute. It can be a cereal, swamped in almond milk, cream, yogurt or kefir.
The basis of the cereal is nuts and seeds. High in healthy fats, low in carbs, gluten free, paleo, vegan – it hits all the right notes. It’s also freakishly delicious and very easy to overeat. Ask me how I know…
I decided that since it’s granola-like, but not grain based, it needed a new name. Others have called it No-la, since it’s no-grain-ola, and I thought of Nut-ola, but what it really is? It’s freaking crack – that’s what it is! The first time I made a batch (and a batch is big!!!), I ate the entire thing in a few days. Breakfast with almond milk, afternoon snack as sweet, crunchy finger food, evening snack with almond milk again, or possibly dry with tea. Just way too much.. So it became known in my mind as Crack-ola. And that has stuck.
It is loosely based on the following recipe, but was made using the ingredients that I happened to have in my cupboards that day. When making it a second time, I actually made an effort to measure and write down what I was doing. It’s a bit different than the first time, but just as good. So, you can make it exactly as in the original post, or you can just use what you have, or your favourite mix of nuts and seeds, but keep the glaze and the cooking method the same.
Here’s the original recipe from Gnom-Gnom Paleo. Thanks to
Paola for sharing her recipe and cooking method:
And here’s my Keto Crack-ola:
- 1 cup almonds, whole, slivered, sliced, or a combo
- 1 cup pecans, pieces
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts, raw
- 6 tbsp sesame seeds
- 8 tbsp non-nutritive natural sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp molasses or maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 egg whites
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250 C. Prepare a large baking sheet with sides by lining it with parchment paper. In a dry frying pan, toast almonds, watching very closely to prevent burning. They will develop a rich smell. Add toasted almonds to pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts in a large bowl and mix together. In the same dry frying pan, toast the sunflower seeds until richly fragrant, stirring frequently and watching closely to prevent burning. Add to a food processor or blender with sweetener, molasses or maple syrup and cinnamon. Blend, scraping down sides frequently, to pulverize the sesame seeds. Add sweet mix to large bowl and mix well. Beat the two egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into the nut mix and stir until all the ingredients are glazed with the egg white mix. This will adhere the sweet mix to the nuts and seeds. It should all look vaguely damp. Sprinkle with sea salt. Spread the granola mix out evenly on the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely, then break into pieces and store in a ziplock bag or other airtight container to keep it crunchy.
One-twelfth of the recipe (about 1/2-2/3 of a cup, depending on which nuts/seeds you added) contains approximately: 270 kcals, 5 g net carbs, 7 grams fibre, 8 grams protein and 23 g fat. Over 75% calories from fat.
A word about sweeteners. I used a golden Monkfruit sweetener from Lakanto, but any preferred sweetener that measures like sugar will work. A brown sugar style substitute gives the richest “caramelized” effect. And the small amount of real sweetener, whether it’s molasses or maple syrup adds a delicious depth of flavour and some extra stickiness to the mix. Don’t skip it – it’s worth the few extra carbs per serving.