Chocolate Nut Paleo Granola is perfect for snacking on anytime of the day or to take on a last camping/hiking trip of the season!
Have you ever noticed that when you return from vacation, you need a vacation from your vacation? We went on our first week-long camping trip (in the pimpin’ camper!!) to Vermont and I don’t want to go back to real life yet. Vacation’s been over for almost 2 weeks now, but it has taken me forever to get back into the swing of things because all I want to do is hop back in the camper and drive on down the road to a new adventure. I’ve told J that I am ready to sell everything to live and travel in the camper full-time but unfortunately, my real life does not allow me to follow my dream of being on vaca 24/7. #bummer
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about camping and I have this to say…camping in Vermont is amazing!!!! We stayed at the Little River State Park in Waterbury and had the most gorgeous lakefront campsite (see pic above and feel free to wish you were there right now). Let me tell you, it was not shabby waking up every morning to that view. By the way, that is campsite T51 for those of you who would like to visit.
Here’s Gracie and Nola enjoying the water view while we were cooking breakfast.
And here’s breakfast! Yes, it’s a lot of food for two people but we were going hiking all day and needed to fuel up. FYI, we cooked a lot on our cast iron flat top griddle. I love using the griddle while camping and it toasts english muffins in butta like a boss!!
The town of Waterbury was so perfectly quaint and is home to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and the Alchemist microbrewery. The Alchemist produces one of the best beers in the world, Heady Topper, an unfiltered double IPA that MUST be drunk from the can. Yes, it says right on the can that it should not be poured in a glass. Weird I know, but it’s true because we tested it out…many times. Heady is highly sought after by beer geeks and is only released in limited quantities, certain days of the week, and only to selected beverage stores and gastropubs in the greater Burlington VT area (the Alchemist brewery is currently closed to the public). A little truth here, I actually planned this whole camping trip around buying some Heady Topper. I mean, if you are going to go to camping, you might as well do it in Vermont, then you might want to pick a campground close to a place that sells Heady by the case. Right? Well, that’s what we did and here’s a little look at the whole process of what it takes to get your little hands on this elusive brew:
1) Go to the beer store (we went to Beverage Warehouse, just outside of Burlington) at least 2 hours early on release days and make sure you have a well iced cooler in the car because Heady has to stay cold.
2) Stand in line. Yes, there will be people already waiting in line and you will be standing behind them. Even at 8am in the morning on a Tuesday, rain or shine, so just deal with it.
3) Doors open at release time and you follow the store guy, in a single file manner, to a huge beer cooler where you wait for your turn to be handled your share. While waiting, fingers are crossed and prayers are being sent to the beer gods that you will be lucky enough today to get a full case (there’s a rule of only one case per person per day, so don’t even think about asking for two). FYI, if you are in the back of the line and they start running low, you will probably only be able to get a 4 pack or none at all.
4) You take your case of beer to the cash register where you are grinning ear to ear and shaking with so much excitement because you can’t wait to get back to the campsite/home to drink a nice cold one (even though it’s only 10am). You try to hide your surprise and slight confusion when you find out the insane price of this case of canned beer. It’s the most you will ever pay for a case of beer in your lifetime, but it’s Heady Topper, so you pay whatever they want you to pay.
I really don’t know why or how this recipe post turned into a freaking Heady Topper post, but apparently it did. I blame my vacation brain. Or I need a beer. Guess it’s time to talk about the recipe…
This Chocolate Nut Paleo Granola is not my recipe, it was created by Paleo Leap. I’ve been using this recipe for years and love it, so I thought I should share it with you. It’s a wonderfully healthy Paleo and grain-free snacking sweet treat that will satisfy any chocolate craving. Plus it’s super convenient to throw in a bag and carry around with you hiking along a beautiful stream.
This sandwich can also be carried around hiking as well. Best. Italian. Ever. I did not make it, Jimmz Pizza in Waterbury made it. Fresh baked bread, farm fresh veggies, homemade pickles, best meat and cheese around, all doused with the loveliest tasting olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the world. I could eat one right now.
Whenever I make the Chocolate Nut Paleo Granola, I slightly change two things from the original Paleo Leap recipe. I always finely chop up the ingredients in the food processor and I leave out the extra 2 ounces of chopped dark chocolate at the end. I’ve also made it using different nuts like raw brazil nuts and unsalted roasted pistachios, but I thought I would provide Paleo Leap’s original recipe and let others decide if they’d like to change it up.
Hope you try this recipe and please check out Paleo Leap’s site for other great recipes. Happy snacking!
Wait! Before you go, one more photo to show the gorgeous sunset we had each evening at the campsite 🙂
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 3 Tb unsalted butter grass-fed preferred
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 3 Tb raw cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup raw shredded coconut
- 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate optional
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- In a food processor, coarsely chop the walnuts and almonds. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and the honey, whisking until combined. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk well until all is combined.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the food processor with the nuts. Pulse a few times or until chocolate is thoroughly mixed in with chopped nuts. Add the shredded coconut and pulse a few times more until mixture is well combined and evenly chopped up.
- Line a large baking sheet with a silicon liner or parchment paper and spread mixture into an even layer. Place in preheated oven and bake for 4 hours.
- When granola is finished baking, remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once completely cooled, break granola into smaller pieces and store in a covered container at room temperature. Can add the 2 ounces of chopped dark chocolate, if desired.