Pretty much every recipe I’ve come across for an AIP granola or cereal type affair is really just toasted coconut flakes. Which is cool and all, but really doesn’t come close to the things that I associate with granola. You know what I mean. Toasty, nutty, crispiness paired with a little chewiness. A variety of textures and flavors all tangled up together in a bite sized cluster. A delicious base for all the fun toppings I can throw at it, while still standing on its own when it comes to flavor. And plain ol’ coconut flakes just don’t hit that taste-spot.
This recipe came about because Mr Meatified used to love my old Crunchy Banana Maple Nut Free Granola, but I haven’t made that in years since I started following the AIP. But something happened recently to change that! Since January, I’ve been without my much beloved (but only six month old) Nikon D810 after it suddenly became incapable of focusing properly. After sending it into the manufacturer (twice) and having them return it to me (twice) saying it was just dandy (twice), despite the fact that it was still incapable of taking a shot in focus, I realized we were going to have to schlep it across the state in an eight hour round trip to try another repair place. And when I asked Mr M what kinds of snacks he wanted me to pack for that little road trip, he promptly asked for granola, which was way out of left field! And it got me thinking: how DO I make an allergy friendly and AIP granola?! I mean, granola by definition is grains, nuts and seeds, usually with a hefty dose of (probably processed) sugar. All a bunch of things I don’t want to eat.
To add to the challenge, I didn’t want to make a granola – AIP or otherwise – that costs a million dollars per pound because it needed super specialized ingredients. I wanted to make an AIP granola that was minimally sweetened, whole foods based as far as humanly possible and could be made after a trip to the grocery store without needing to trade your first born for grain free flours online. I think I’ve achieved that here with a sweet potato base (for chewiness) that’s livened up using a mix of plantain chips (for crunch), coconut flakes (for texture) and shredded apple (for sweetness).
It used to be difficult to find plantain chips, but now even my small town Walmart carries them! I find the cheapest way to buy them is still in the bulk bin section of other grocery stores, but they’re definitely not an “only on the internet” purchase for me anymore. Everything’s held together by pureed banana and a smidge of maple syrup, then scented with cinnamon and finished with a generous sprinkle of mineral rich sea salt that makes all the flavors pop. When toasted all together, this AIP granola hits all of the spots I mentioned earlier: it’s got a blend of different textures, it makes lovely little bite sized clusters, it’s got that warm, “nutty” aroma that you expect and it can be eaten doused in coconut milk or just straight up as is. Yes, really! Trust me, Mr M is really, really picky and has no problem saying, “I love you, but… nope” when I make him my taste tester, but this was a-ok’d by him!
So here’s the thing: yes, this AIP granola can be eaten like a standard granola recipe for breakfast with a little crap-free coconut milk. And it tastes freaking great doing so, I’m not going to lie. But, hear me out! Please, if you are going to eat this as a breakfast now and then, don’t forget the key thing about the AIP: nutrient density, people! This AIP granola is hardly bad for you, but it’s still a carb dense, occasional food that has a fair dose of (natural) sugar. So I really recommend you enjoy it as part of a broader breakfast plate if your morning permits. Coconut milk is going to give you some healthy fats and some fruit to top is going to taste great, but add a little protein and some greens on the side if you can. Maybe make this part of a special occasion AIP or allergy friendly brunch at the weekend and really go to town!
If you’re going to enjoy this AIP granola as an “on the road” or “emergency” snack as Mr Meatified did when he heroically drove all day with just my beleaguered camera for company, it can be paired with a variety of different add ins that don’t need refrigeration. Here are a few suggestions for both home and away granola!
AIP Granola Add In Ideas
On the road:
Don’t forget to check these ingredients for compliant oils and preservatives, choosing added sugar free options where possible, like the examples below.
- chopped dried figs
- chopped dried apricots
- chopped dried dates
- chopped prunes
- dried blueberries
- dried cherries
- freeze dried strawberries
- freeze dried raspberries
- unsweetened banana chips
- toasted unsweetened coconut
Fresh fruit ideas:
- chopped apple
- chopped kiwi
- sliced strawberries
- mixed berries
- sliced banana
- pomegranate arils
- thinly sliced kumquats (I’m obsessed with these lately!)
This recipe was shared in the Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable.
What would you add to your AIP granola? Tell me in the comments!
Looking for more AIP granola? Try my Pumpkin Spice Granola here!Print
Sweet & Salted AIP Granola
Finally, an AIP granola that hits the spot! This is chewy, crunchy, crispy and clustery, but made with grocery store ingredients & minimally sweetened.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 16 oz / 454 g 1x
- Category: breakfast, snack, make ahead
- Method: oven
- 2 1/2 cups / 265 g peeled & shredded white sweet potato
- 2 1/2 cups / 175 g plantain chips or plantain strips
- 2 cups / 90 g unsweetened coconut flakes (see notes)
- 1 cup / 170 g shredded apple (about 2)
- 5 oz / 150 g banana (about 1 medium, see notes)
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml maple syrup
- 1 tbsp / 6 g ground cinnamon
- Sea salt, to taste
- SHRED: Preheat the oven to 325 F / 160 C with the rack in the center position. Peel and shred your white sweet potato using the coarse side of a box grater, then add the shreds to a mixing bowl. Add the plantain chips / strips to the bowl and use your knuckles to gently crush them: you want the plantain chips / strips to be broken down enough to work through the mixture but not be crushed to smithereens! The same kind of size as cornflakes is about what you’re aiming for. Add the coconut flakes to the mixing bowl, then use the coarse side of a box grater to shred the apples. Don’t worry about peeling them, just grate around the core. Add the apples to a measuring cup, then press down on the shredded apple over the sink to squeeze out any excess liquid. Squeeze the apple shreds in your hand to get rid of the last bit of moisture: when you’re done, the apple will have reduced by half! Add the shredded apple to the mixing bowl, too.
- MIX: Add the banana, broken into a few pieces, to a mini food processor along with the maple syrup. Blend together until smooth. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the granola ingredients in the mixing bowl, then pour over the banana-maple mixture. Stir through with a spatula until everything is coated and evenly distributed through the granola mixture. Line a baking tray with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper, then pour the granola mixture into the middle of the tray. Use a spatula to spread the granola mixture across the baking sheet in an even layer, pressing down on it firmly. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.
- BAKE: Pop the baking sheet into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use a spatula to flip the granola over, letting it break into large chunks. Use the back of the spatula to flatten it down again, then return it to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Again, remove the tray from the oven and flip the granola, mixing it up so that the edges don’t burn. Return to the oven to bake for another 20 – 25 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so to break up into bite size clusters and prevent burning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray before transferring the granola to an airtight container.
You want to use the wide, flat unsweetened coconut flakes that are about an inch long here, like the pieces you can see in the first photo within the post. You don’t want the finely shredded coconut, that will burn way too soon instead of toasting.
If you can, please weigh out your banana instead of just tossing a whole one into the mix. I know that sounds a little crazy, but the amount of sugar and moisture in this recipe will drastically affect the baking time, so in order to keep this recipe consistent, weighing the banana will help!
Looking for more AIP Breakfast Ideas?
Check out 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts! Your favorite AIP bloggers – myself included! – got together and compiled our best breakfast recipes to answer that ever popular question: “What do you eat for breakfast on the AIP?!”
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT AMAZING AIP BREAKFASTS:
- All of the recipes are 100% compliant with The Paleo Approach
- It’s been created by 26 bloggers who all use the AIP themselves
- It has 85 breakfast themed AIP recipes, many of which were created specifically for this book
- Over half of the recipes can easily be modified for low-FODMAP, GAPS/SCD, low-histamine, and coconut-free diets using the handy substitution charts included in the book
WHAT’S IN AMAZING AIP BREAKFASTS:
- Beverages: How about trying a delicious herbal AIP Coffee (check out the sneak peek recipe here!) or Rooibos “Latte” again?
- Bowls: bring back foods like Apple Cinnamon “Porridge”, Biscuits & Gravy or Sweet Potato Muffins in Bacon Bowls!
- Skillets: one pan meals are the best and you have recipes like Sweet Potato, Pancetta and Apple Hash, Sausage Fennel and Cherry Stir Fry and Cinnamon Pork and Apple Skillet to choose from!
- Soups: these are actually my favorite thing to eat in the morning – just warm and enjoy! How about creamy Leek & Sweet Potato Soup or Slow Cooker Breakfast Stew?
- Patties: you don’t have to stick to plain sausage! Try an AIP Breakfast Stack, some Tuna Cakes with Green Olives or some Ginger Green Onion Pork Patties to liven things up
- Pancakes: choose from 7 pancake recipes… then move on to Plantain Waffles or Applesauce Muffins
See all the details and scoop up your copy of 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts here!
Gotta try this soon! After the first year i was on GAPS I developed an intense longing for crunchy foods. I can almost hear the crunch of this already ?
Oooh, if you like crunchy, add in some extra plantain chips. I’m kind of obsessed with playing with this base recipe. It’s the closest I’ve come to the varied textures of granola, which is a tough one when you can’t have nuts or seeds!
I made this without weighing the banana, or measuring the maple syrup, I forgot to squeeze out the apple, and I didn’t quite have enough plantain chips. At that point I figured it would be mushy and weird, but it tasted amazing raw, so it couldn’t be that bad baked, right? Well, actually, it came out amazingly crunchy and perfect! I will definitely be making it again, thank you!!
Yay! It can be pretty forgiving, as long as you’re around to check on it here and there – so glad it worked out for you 🙂
How rip was the banana you used?
Also instead of banana could you us pumpkin? I know it would be less sweet.
About medium ripeness — yellow with maybe a few black spots, but nowhere near the mushy stage!
I’m actually testing a pumpkin version this weekend! I think it will work, but I haven’t gotten proportions yet. If you’re worried about sweetness, this version isn’t overly sweet in flavor because the banana flavor doesn’t come through, it just works as a binder.
Before I started AIP in January, I was becoming the Granola Queen around here, and was baking it constantly. Since then, nothing. Omg! This turned out absolutely delicious!! THANK YOU so much for giving me a new base for branching out into different flavors and ingredients for no grain/nut granola!! Eeeks! So exciting!!
I can not wait to try this. I buy my plantain chips at Big Lots and they are only $1 per bag. I have also found cranberries sweetened with apple juice that I may add in at the end.
Dried cranberries would make a lovely addition!
Can you use orange sweet potatoes instead of white sweet potatoes?
I haven’t tested that out myself. I would think so, but given that the sweetness and moisture in the orange varieties is greater, it might take longer to cook and turn out a little sweeter.
Hello, I’m searching for new snacks for my son. He can only have sweet potato every 3 days… I was wondering how long this recipe stays good for, or if it could be frozen?
Hi Brandy, I’ve never frozen it (I suspect that wouldn’t work out so well because it would likely lose it’s crunchiness), but it does keep a week or so in a sealed airtight container. It might actually last a little longer than that, since it’s pretty dehydrated once it comes out of the oven, but it’s never lasted that long in my house for me to say for sure. I hope that helps!
This turned out fantastic! Thank you so much!!!!
Great recipe! I tried something similar way back in the early days of AIP (2014). It might have been yours, I don’t remember. I can’t measure and have to add my own twist even on the best recipes. To yours, I squeezed out the apples and added lemon to the juice, cooked it down a little, puréed it with my banana. I was worried it would be a bit too moist, so I sprinkled in some Tigernut flour. Plus, I wanted the extra resistant starch for my blood sugar. It turned out FANTASTIC! It had a nice apple tang by using the juice. I’m making another batch today. Good food for the microbiome! ♥️