Paleo Granola & Paleo Parfaits – Layers of grain-free granola, dairy-free yogurt, fruit puree, and fresh fruit make these paleo parfaits the perfect recipe for meal prep or brunch! (Gluten-free, vegan & absolutely awesome!)
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I’m ALL about breakfast foods. I LOVE a good breakfast, whether that’s a meal prep recipe I pull out to enjoy a few days in a row, or a nice, slow weekend breakfast.
My paleo granola and fruit parfaits are good for both! Gorgeous grain-free granola, fruit puree, fresh fruit, and some dairy-free yogurt all combine to make something beautiful and delicious you’ll come back to over and over again.
Grain-free granola is such an easy snack or breakfast. Made from a mix of nuts and seeds, it’s got plenty of satisfying crunch and tastes great on just about anything. I love that you really don’t need much to make a big impact. Since it’s so nutrient-dense, I use it more as a garnish than as the star of the show, and it’s just SO GOOD in these paleo parfaits. It’s also fantastic sprinkled over yogurt, acai bowls, chia pudding, or smoothies. (Or, you can enjoy it on its own as a trail mix snack!)
Here’s how I make my paleo granola, how I turn it into paleo parfaits, and a few tips for making these parfaits extra pretty…
HERE’S WHAT I PUT IN MY PALEO GRANOLA RECIPE:
UNSWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES. Big flakes of unsweetened coconut are SO GOOD in paleo granola. They toast to a perfect golden in the oven and help catch + hold onto all the yummy flavors going on. I recommend big flakes (sometimes sold as coconut chips or shaved coconut) over the finely shredded coconut, which can burn.
SLICED ALMONDS + RAW CASHEWS + PUMPKIN SEEDS. Then, I add a trio of nuts and seeds for some staying power. Almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds lend a nice variety of textures and flavors that are perfect in paleo granola.
FLAX MEAL (GROUND FLAX). A little ground flax lends some healthy fats and helps keep everything together. It’s one of the secrets to getting clusters in this granola!
TURN MY PALEO GRANOLA INTO PALEO PARFAITS! HERE’S HOW:
I love this paleo granola on its own, but it’s really fun to use to build paleo parfaits! I love that with parfaits, there is SO much versatility and so many options. Here’s what I layer into my parfaits:
DAIRY-FREE YOGURT OR CHIA PUDDING. We’re dairy-free, so we opt for dairy-free yogurt. My favorite for parfaits is vanilla. We’ve tried several good ones. So Delicious, Culina, and CoYo are 3 of our favorite brands, but even brands like Chobani and Yoplait are coming out with dairy-free options these days! Or, you can switch out the yogurt for some chia pudding. This creamy coconut chia pudding is AMAZING in paleo parfaits!
FRUIT PURÉE. In my paleo parfaits, it’s ALL about the fruit puree. You start with your favorite fresh or frozen fruit, add a tiny bit of honey or syrup (if needed), a splash of juice, and some water to help it blend, then give it a mix. The best part is, you can use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you like. I’ve tried it with strawberries, blueberries, mangos, and a yummy cherry-berry blend. Every version is delicious! It’d also be fabulous with peaches, raspberries, or a combination of fruit!
FRESH FRUIT. Fresh fruit makes these paleo parfaits absolutely beautiful. Feel free to use the same fruit you used for the fruit purée (i.e. strawberry purée + fresh strawberries) or mix and match for more color. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, mango, and kiwi all work nicely!
PALEO GRANOLA. Then, for a little crunch, my yummy paleo granola works like a charm. It’s gentle sweetness and crispy crunch are so nice next to the creamy yogurt and fruit! If I’m serving this to a crowd, I often put out both paleo granola and traditional gluten-free granola, so folks have options to choose from. (You’ll notice one parfait has oat-based granola)
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST PALEO GRANOLA + PARFAITS
HOW TO GET CLUSTERS IN PALEO GRANOLA. The big tip is to pack the granola together tightly right when it comes out of the oven. You’ll keep it spread out on the pan while it’s baking, then packing it together tightly helps it create clusters as it cools. Don’t skip this step if you love clusters!
STORAGE + MAKE-AHEAD TIPS. I usually make my paleo parfaits in lidded jars so that they work well for meal prep, but they’re also really pretty if you’re setting them out for a build-your-own parfait bar. The fruit puree will stay good for 3-4 days, so you can layer your yogurt and fruit puree in several jars at once, then just add some fresh fruit and granola to serve!
FRUIT TO TRY IN MY FRUIT PUREE. I’ve tried this fruit purée with strawberry, blueberry, mango, and a tasty cherry-berry blend (pictured in these photos). Mix and match fruits to make your own combinations…strawberry-mango, strawberry-blueberry, raspberry-peach…the options are endless!
A TRICK FOR MAKING YOUR PARFAITS LOOK PRETTY. These paleo parfaits look extra gorgeous when you press cut fresh fruit against the side of the glass. Kiwi and strawberries work really well for this and keep well if you’re making them ahead of time.
THE BEST DAIRY-FREE YOGURT. You can use any flavor of yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) that you like for these, based on your dietary needs. My favorite non-dairy yogurts are Coyo (which I find at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers), and So Delicious or Culina brands, which I pick up at Sprouts. You can also make your own pretty easily if you prefer.
IMPROVE DIGESTIBILITY. Some people feel heavy or bloated after eating nuts/seeds. If that’s the case, it could be that you’re having trouble with some of the enzyme inhibitors or phytic acid. (Which all sounds fancy and complicated, but really isn’t). Soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds is a great way to improve their digestibility since soaking can help break down the enzyme inhibitors, introduce healthful enzymes, and reduce phytic acid. (You can read about the why and how here). It’s an extra step, but it might be worth it if you struggle with digesting nuts & seeds.
LOVE THESE PARFAITS? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE…
- Fruit on the Bottom Chia Pudding (Perfect for Meal Prep!)
- 7 Ways With Overnight Oats (These flavors are SO GOOD!)
- Almond Flour Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (Paleo + so fluffy!)
- Creamy Coconut Chia Pudding (A great alternative to yogurt in these parfaits)
- Mango Green Smoothie (Creamy, dreamy, delicious.)
- Huevos Rancheros (Another yummy brunch fave!)
HELPFUL INGREDIENTS + TOOLS FOR MAKING PALEO GRANOLA + PALEO PARFAITS: