Do you miss the satisfying texture of granola when you’re out camping? Me too.

Tigernuts to the rescue! Wait, you say, tigernuts?

It’s okay – tigernuts are not really nuts. They’re a tuber with a nutty name, and totally Autoimmune Protocol-compliant. You Paleo people get to eat nuts, lucky souls. We on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) avoid nuts during elimination phase because they can mess with the integrity of the gut lining – key for anyone with systemic inflammation.

Tigernuts are high in fiber, and a good source of healthy fats and prebiotic resistant starch. The flakes make a great substitute for rolled oats, and the ground flour is a great sub for grainy-textured flours like graham and whole wheat. For more info on tigernuts, check out my All About Tigernuts post.

Be a draft horse, not a pogo pony

I’m a proponent of a high-protein breakfast. But granola is not typically a high protein breakfast all by its lonesome. Below I go into why I’m all about a high-protein breakfast, because… well, I’ll explain below. But just know that at the end, I’m going to say “eat some added protein with this – or any – granola, if you have it for breakfast”.

Why high protein? First, blood sugar balance. It’s important for everyone, not only those who know they are hypoglycemic. After the fasting period of a night’s sleep, your blood sugar is pretty darn low, and your body needs protein and fats to help bring things into balance in a steady fashion.

Steady fashion is the key – sure, a sugary breakfast will bring your blood sugar up really quickly, but the consequence is the rebound of insulin resistance (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or both, that leads at least to fatigue, and for some, to systemic inflammation, brain fog, and even depression. I know, that sounds really awful. It is, I lived it for decades.

When you start the day with a low-protein, sugary breakfast, it takes hours – sometimes all day – for your system to get balanced again, if at all. And start your day that way, get on the trail – or bike ride – or epic ski day – and have so much fun you blow off lunch (we’ve all done it!), you’ll suffer for it.

I could go on about the physiology of blood sugar and why it’s important (and I may in a future post) but it boils down not only to enjoyment and physical performance, but to healthy brain functionwhich is what allows us to make wise decisions and stay safe in the backcountry.

The second Really Good Reason to eat a high-protein breakfast with moderate carbs (don’t go low-carb in the field, people!) is that those macronutrients are needed by your cells and muscles to deal with the demands that your outdoor sports place on them. Feed your body properly and it will perform at its best.

So: a high protein, plenty fat, moderate carb breakfast helps the body launch into the day more like a stately draft horse than a pogo-stick toy pony. You pick:

Two draft horses standing in the snow

Want to be a beast?

A pogo pony toy

Or this?

You may be wondering why I went on a detour about protein and blood sugar during a post about granola. Most granolas won’t give you the amount of protein you need to start your day. Just promise me that if you eat this for breaky, you’ll also down a good portion of protein with it. Don’t be a pogo pony.

Granola as good as it ever was

I know many of you love a granola-y option for breakfast or snacks, and who doesn’t love some flavorful crunch along the trail? A girl can’t eat beef jerky for every meal (been there)! Tigernut granola promises all the texture satisfaction and flavor goodness of any granola you had prior to your Paleo/AIP days. I promise.

If you are simply Paleo or in AIP-reintro stage with nuts, you might add about 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to this recipe, but for AIP-elimination phase, wait on the nuts. Don’t worry – it’s really good without.

This recipe kind of just happened in my kitchen one night (thus the horribly lit photos, thank you) and I was really pleased with how the coconut, lemon zest, ginger and vanilla all came together. The ginger is so mellow it’s barely there, and the lemon zest gives just a hint of citrus. When I eat it my tastebuds wiggle with “oh! what was that! and that!” Win! I struggled to not eat the entire batch before it went into the oven. Frankly, I might have done if I didn’t need some to photograph as the final product!

OPTIONS: For those of you who can’t eat coconut, I plan to post some granola recipes for you, too. And if you like barely-sweet foods, cut the maple in half and add a tablespoon of applesauce to sub for the liquid. Some folks like to add their raisins after the bake, but I like to add them before – that way they soak up the maple and coconut oil… mad goodness! They will plump up during baking and you may think that will cause problems, but they calm down when they cool.

Granola making tips

Don’t burn it! Granola is easy to burn. Generally, it’s done before your eyes say it’s perfect, so take it out when it’s light golden brown, not later. You can always put it back in the oven if it cools a bit and you decide you want it darker.

Turn the edges frequently! While baking, the edges brown and dry out first – they will burn if ignored, so it’s important to frequently turn the edges back into the mix as it bakes. This also mixes the tasty maple syrup and coconut oil back in.

Stop baking before it looks dry! The mix will still look moist when it’s ready to come out of the oven – if you let it get dry, it’s likely burnt.

Watch your granola like a hawk! I turn mine with a big spoon about every 5-8 minutes while it’s baking.

I hope you enjoy this granola! Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you add any Paleo or AIP items that work out great, please share it with everyone here!

A handful of granola

noshing down in my poorly lit kitchen

Tigernut Granola with Lemon and Ginger Recipe {AIP, Paleo}

Makes about 4.5 cups dry granola
Serve with your favorite AIP or Paleo “milk”, or eat right out of your feed bag

Ingredients

2 cups tigernut flakes
2 cups wide coconut flakes (fine flakes work too)
½ cup raisins (my faves are Thompson raisins!)
2 tsp grated lemon zest (make sure to distribute it well in the bowl when you mix)
1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 2 tsp liquid)
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (use Grade B for extra POWer!)
(If you like barely-sweet foods, cut the maple in half and add a TBS of applesauce to sub for the liquid)

Instructions

1. Make sure your oven’s baking shelf is equally distant from both heating elements. Granola is easy to burn!

2. Preheat oven to 275°F. If you have an old, rebellious oven like mine, watch your granola like a hawk 😉

3. Line a full-sized baking sheet with parchment paper. If you halve this recipe, you only need half the pan covered and place the paper in the center so the granola dries evenly.

4. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well with a spoon, making sure the liquids coat all the dry items.

5. Taste test and congratulate yourself if you do not consume the entire batch raw.

6. Place the mix on the papered baking sheet, and using a spatula or the back of a large spoon, spread evenly to about ¼ inch thickness.

7. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the center of the shelf, and bake for 25-40 minutes until nicely browned; use less time for chewier granola, more for crunchier granola (watch closely at the end for burning).

8. Stir a few times during baking to assure even baking. Make sure to reincorporate any liquids that run to the edges of the pan – that’s the sweetness and oil that is so tasty on the trail!

9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, stir another time, and let the granola cool completely.

10. Once cool, break it up with your clean hands and package in an airtight container. I prefer a glass jar with a tight lid.

11. Remember to label with date, and ingredients if it matters to you.

12. Store in a cool, dark place, preferably the fridge.

If you plan to keep this for a while, store in the freezer; make sure that lid is on really tight to avoid condensation.

I keep this in my kitchen cabinet for about a week, and in the fridge or freezer for longer.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Tigernut Granola with Lemon and Ginger {AIP, Paleo}
Author: 
Recipe type: Trail snack, breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4.5 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups tigernut flakes
  • 2 cups wide coconut flakes (fine flakes work too)
  • ½ cup raisins (my faves are Thompson raisins!)
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest (make sure to distribute it well in the bowl when you mix)
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (or 2 tsp liquid)
  • 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup (use Grade B for extra POWer!)
  • (If you like barely-sweet foods, cut the maple in half and add a TBS of applesauce to sub for the liquid)
Instructions
  1. Make sure your oven's baking shelf is equally distant from both heating elements. Granola is easy to burn!
  2. Preheat oven to 275°F. If you have an old, rebellious oven like mine, watch your granola like a hawk 😉
  3. Line a full-sized baking sheet with parchment paper. If you halve this recipe, you only need half the pan covered and place the paper in the center so the granola dries evenly in the center of the oven.
  4. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well with a spoon, making sure the liquids coat all the dry items.
  5. Taste test and congratulate yourself if you do not consume the entire batch raw.
  6. Place the mix on the papered baking sheet, and using a spatula or the back of a large spoon, spread evenly to about ¼ inch thickness.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the center of the shelf, and bake for 25-40 minutes until nicely browned; use less time for chewier granola, more for crunchier granola (watch closely at the end for burning).
  8. Stir a few times during baking to assure even baking. Make sure to reincorporate any liquids that run to the edges of the pan – that’s the sweetness and oil that is so tasty on the trail!
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, stir another time, and let the granola cool completely.
  10. Once cool, break it up with your clean hands and package in an airtight container. I prefer a glass jar with a tight lid.
  11. Remember to label with date, and ingredients if it matters to you.
  12. Store in a cool, dark place, preferably the fridge.
  13. If you plan to keep this for a while, store in the freezer; make sure that lid is on really tight to avoid condensation.
  14. I keep this in my kitchen cabinet for about a week, and in the fridge or freezer for longer.

Trail advice:

When you package this for the trail, use an oil-proof container. Don’t toss it in a paper bag and right into your pack; the coconut oil is soft at most summer air temperatures, and it will leak through. The bonus of the oil is that it’s uh-mazing for your body on the trail!