Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola

Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola

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Granola is the ultimate travel food, and this Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola is my family’s favorite version.

We love it so much that I always quadruple this recipe to keep plenty of granola on hand.  It’s perfect for breakfast, snacks, and eating on the go.


Granola on the Go

Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola is perfect for travel!  My list of make-ahead travel foods always includes this granola.  I like to make a huge batch and bring it along for an easy high-protein snack that doesn’t require refrigeration.

Click here for a list of my favorite paleo travel foods.  

It’s also a great option for breakfast in the car: we give everyone their own container of granola plus a piece of fruit.  In a pinch, or for easier transport and long term storage, dried fruit is an option.  We like raisins, dried apricots, or dried apples. 

If we’re really on top of things, the boys each get a travel mug of milk, too.  My own travel mug gets filled with Dandy Blend, my favorite herbal coffee substitute, which tastes amazing with this Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola.

Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Roots & Boots
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Breakfast of Champions

Of course we also eat this granola for regular sit-down breakfasts at home.  Some of my boys prefer to eat their granola dry, one of them likes it with milk or yogurt, and I always use coconut milk for mine.  Almond milk is another option for dairy-free.

At home, we like to top our Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola with fresh blueberries or strawberries.  In the winter when berries are scarce, we often add dried raisins or currants.

Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Roots & Boots
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Totally Worth It

Okay, so let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: this granola takes a long time to prepare!

The actual prep time isn’t too bad, but the soaking and drying can turn this process into a 2- or even 3-day affair.  I do find that the longer I allow the nuts to dry between soaking and mixing up the granola, the better (and faster) they crisp up in the oven.

So if you’re trying to plan breakfast for tomorrow, Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola isn’t the recipe for you.  If you want a high-protein, make-ahead option for breakfast, snacks, or travel food, this recipe is totally worth the time it takes to prepare.

Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Roots & Boots
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Go Big or Go Home

If you’re going to go to the trouble of making a batch of granola, why not double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe?  A quadrupled recipe fills 7 quart sized mason jars and keeps for at least a week or two with an airtight seal.

For my family of three growing boys plus one husband, quadrupling this recipe feels like a much more efficient use of my time.  My boys would gobble up a single batch of granola faster than you can say “hungry hungry hippos” and I might be tempted to resent all that hard work evaporating just like that.

Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Roots & Boots
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Tips for a Large Batch of Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola

I like to keep the  process leisurely by spreading it over a day or two or even three.  Here’s an example of what that looks like:

Day One: soak nuts all day.  At bedtime, drain nuts and spread out to dry overnight.

After soaking the nuts, I lay out an old bath or beach towel on our kitchen island, dining table, or over the washer/dryer.  I spread the nuts and seeds across most of this towel, and kind of wrap the sides up over the nuts to protect them from flying missiles and thieving youngsters.

Day Two: mix granola and begin drying process.

If I have all my ducks in a row and start this process early in the day, the granola should be ready for jars by bedtime.  Sometimes I don’t get to it until the afternoon, in which case I often allow the granola to crisp up overnight in the turned-off-oven.

The trick here is {ahem} to remember to take it out in the morning! I recommend a sticky note reminder…

For the mixing process, I use the food processor and a huge bowl.  Process the nuts in batches and transfer to the huge bowl.  After all the nuts have been processed and added to the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir by hand with a huge spoon.

Then turn out onto four baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Oven Baked Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Roots & Boots
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Oven vs. Dehydrator

Side note: by the time I got a dehydrator, we were already used to eating granola baked in the oven.  I tried to dry Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola in the dehydrator, and it just didn’t get crispy.  5 out of 5 Hendersons preferred the oven method.

Granted, I was still a total dehydrator newbie and it’s possible I didn’t dry it long enough, so I plan to try the dehydrator method again.

I’d love to hear about your experience…do you prefer baking or dehydrating your granola?

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Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola | Yankee Homestead
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Paleo Vanilla Nut Granola

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  • Author: Kathleen | Roots & Boots
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x




  • 1 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. raw walnuts
  • 1/2 c. raw pecans
  • 1/2 c. raw cashews
  • 1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds*
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt

Then Add

  • 3/4 c. raw local honey
  • 2 TB coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 TB pure vanilla
  • 1 TB cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut (unsweetened)



  1. Place all nuts except sunflower seeds in a large bowl, cover with water by at least 1 inch, and stir in 1 tsp salt. Cover and soak for 12-24 hours.
  2. Soak the sunflower seeds for 6-8 hours.
  3. Drain the nuts and seeds. Spread out a large towel and place drained nuts on top to absorb any remaining water.

Mix the Granola

  1. Set oven to the lowest temperature. For me, that’s 170 F.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. When nuts are no longer drippy, transfer to a food processor and process until nuts are about the size of oats. Add remaining ingredients except shredded coconut and pulse until well combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add shredded coconut. Stir well to combine.
  5. Use a large spoon or spatula to spread mixture evenly on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Drying in the Oven

  1. Place nuts in a 170 F oven and use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door cracked for 2-3 hours. This allows moisture to escape.
  2. After about 3 hours, close the oven door and dry for another 3 hours.
  3. Finally, turn off the oven and allow the granola to cool and crisp with the door closed for another few hours up to overnight.
  4. When granola is crispy, break into bars or chunks.
  5. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 1 or even 2 weeks.


I keep a good supply of soaked and dehydrated nuts on hand, and sometimes use those “crispy nuts” to make granola, which means I can skip the 24 hour soak.
I find that sunflower seeds respond best to a shorter soak period of around 6-8 hours. Soak them separately or add them later to the soaking nuts.
More honey can be added according to your preference. I try to limit our intake of sweeteners, and 1/2 cup honey is the least amount I can get away with in this recipe. Any less, and the granola won’t hold together.

This recipe is based on Danielle Walker’s Vanilla Almond Granola recipe from her book Against All Grain.  It’s my all-time favorite paleo/GF cookbook.  If you can get only one paleo cookbook, this is the one!

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Kathleen | Roots & Boots

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>


  1. MAnn on 05/16/2019 at 12:52 am

    Quick ?….Granola receipe…..what is the reason for soaking nuts?

  2. Wendy Banton on 04/30/2021 at 11:16 am

    Made this recipe with a few adaptations and it is delicious! I am supposed to avoid all sweeteners right now so I only used about 1/4 c honey and added several tablespoons of almond butter to help it all stick. I also added hemp, chia and flax seeds for additional nutrients! I did use my dehydrator on 145 for 12 hours. Although it did get crispy I do love the taste of toasted nuts so I’m sticking the granola in the toaster oven for a short bit to get that taste! Great recipe!!

    • Kathleen Henderson on 04/30/2021 at 1:37 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, and adding almond butter is a GREAT idea. 🙂

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