Paleo Coconut Cacao Nib Granola – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Making your own granola is easy and delicious. This paleo low carb granola recipe whips up in less than 30 minutes. Dairy-free and grain-free.

Paleo Coconut Cacao Nib Granola Recipe

Cereal. It’s what we all grew up eating for breakfast, right? And when you decide to follow a low carb or paleo diet, you find yourself stumped. You wake up, bleary-eyed, and head downstairs. You pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a few sips and reach for the cupboard. You open it and you suddenly pull up short. Where are the boxes of cereal? They’re not there! Your tired brain can’t quite handle this information so early in the morning. It refuses to believe that you could be so silly as to let yourself run out of that ultimate breakfast food. Why on earth didn’t you put it on the grocery list last time? Oh wait…that’s right. Because cereal and grains aren’t paleo or low carb approved. Oh damn. Now what?

I think you know what I am going to say here. Make your own! Let’s face it, if you are paleo or low carb, you can’t just head to the store and pick up convenience foods like cereal and bread. You can sometimes order them online but I always look at the ingredients and think “Well, gee. I could make that!”. I absolutely HATE spending money on something I know I could make easily enough at home. “Easily” being the operative word here. And when it comes to homemade cereal, you can indeed easily make it at home. This low carb granola recipe whips up in less than half an hour. So even if you just got up, all bleary-eyed and in need of caffeine, you could have your cereal. Better yet, if you make a big batch, you can store it in the fridge for several weeks.

Easy Low Carb Coconut Cacao Nib Granola


Low Carb Dairy Free Coconut Cocoa Nib Granola

I’ve made a few different kinds of low carb granola and cereal, and I had one reader thank me for making it without coconut. Guess he wasn’t a coconut fan, but I sure am and it got me pondering a tasty version with some large flaked coconut. And some coconut oil, to really play up that flavour, because I adore it. Then some cacao nibs to add a hint of chocolatey flavour, which pairs so well with coconut. If you haven’t tried cacao nibs  (also called cocoa nibs) yet, I think you should. They are chocolatey but not sweet and make a great addition to cookies and cakes, and of course, granola. And they are virtually all fiber, so they make a great low carb food. Just don’t buy them at discount places like Marshalls. I bought a bag that tasted burnt and were just awful. If I hadn’t known what real cacao nibs tasted like, I would have written them off altogether. It’s worth paying a little more for a quality bag if you really want the cacao nib experience!

Low Carb Paleo Granola Recipe Grain-Free

Paleo Coconut Cacao Nib Granola –

Yield: About 5 cups

Serving Size: About 1/3 cup

Paleo Coconut Cacao Nib Granola –

Making your own granola is easy and delicious. This paleo low carb granola recipe whips up in less than 30 minutes. Dairy-free and grain-free.


  • 1 & 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 & 1/2 cup other nuts/seeds (or more almonds. I did a combo of pepitas, sunflower seeds and walnuts)
  • 1 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener OR coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Kelapo coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs


  1. Preheat oven to 300F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and other nuts or seeds. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some bigger pieces in there too.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add flax seed meal, flaked coconut, sweetener of choice, and salt. Drizzle with coconut oil and stir to combine.
  4. Add egg, and toss until mixture begins to clump together. Stir in cacao nibs
  5. Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove and let cool.


Serves 15. Nutritional counts will vary depending on what seeds and nuts you use as the base of your granola. The way I made it:

Each serving has 10 g of carbs and 6 g of fiber (if you use Swerve). Total NET CARBS = 4 g.

240 Calories; 21g Fat (73.2% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 14mg Cholesterol; 90mg Sodium.

If you use coconut sugar, each serving will have an additional 15 calories and 4 g of carbs.

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  1. Lin says

    This sounds great. I get a little tired of eggs for breakfast! I do need to know if the nuts you use are raw, or if it you use pre-roasted nuts (salted or unsalted) . I plan to make this soon, so I hope to find out if it makes a difference whether I use raw or roasted nuts.

      • Lin says

        I just ordered all the ingredients I didn’t have on hand through Netrition. Looking forward for making a big batch for low-carb me and some for Paleo daughter.

  2. Bonnie says

    Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe. I love granola and miss it in my low carb world. I’m making this over the weekend, and might get crazy and throw some chia seeds in it!

  3. Isis says

    I know it would make the carb count a little higher, but do you think this would be good with the addition of freeze-dried raspberries? If so, when would you recommend adding them? (I am thinking at the end once the granola is baked or else they might get soggy from the egg/oil…?)

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, I think that would be great and I would only add them at the end. That way, they’d stay crunchy.

  4. tea says

    Wow – breakfasts have been a challenge within the last year…

    I found a recipe for TVP “oatmeal” and – egads, that was really awful (no offense to those who love it – just didn’t work for me). I found that I missed cereal, but that it wasn’t as bad during the cold months — but I was wondering what I was going to do on another summer morning. I can imagine this with a big dollop of yogurt, instead of plain milk (which is how I tend to eat granola – everything is a parfait!) – all crunchy and lovely. Yum. Thank you much.

  5. says

    This not only sounds great but looks awesome! I was just sitting here thinking I wanted some granola and I saw your post on G+ for this recipe. I want to make this one! I am not sure I’ve seen cocoa nibs yet though. Maybe I can find some on my Trader Joe’s trip tomorrow!

  6. Felicia says

    Can I use something other than ground flax seeds meal? Maybe a mixture of ground chia seeds and some other nut flour like walnut, cashew, or pecan?

    • Carolyn says

      Sure, that would work. Chia maintains more moisture but it’s oven-baked so I think it will have the right consistency.

      • Felicia says

        So what do you think the mixture of chia seeds to nut flour should be since you call for 1 cup of ground flax meal in your recipe? Maybe 1/2 cup Chia seeds and 1/2 cup of nut flour? Do the chia seeds need to be ground or should I use them whole?

        • Carolyn says

          I think whole or ground would be okay. This is a pretty forgiving recipe, you can kind of do what you want with it. Ground will mean it clumps together a bit more but either way, you’ll have great nutrition and flavor.

  7. Susan says

    Made it, ate it, and of course, like all of your recipes: Delicious!!! This will be a staple at our house from now on.

  8. FrenchSophie says

    Hello Carolyn

    once again thanks for your fantastic article. I’m trying to order `swere online but there’s no “confectioners” only “granular”. Can I still get the confectioners for your recipes ?
    Thanks !

    • Carolyn says

      I know…it will be back in stock VERY soon. For some of my recipes, you only need granulated. But for others, you definitely want the confectioners.

  9. Karen Anthony says

    Delicious! I made this last night. It really is as good as any granola I’ve ever had! I can see this will be a huge improvement on bkft. Thanks, thanks & thanks, Karen

  10. says

    make this and love it! I ate it with a little unsweetend coconut milk and added some cinnamon and a dash of vanilla, excellent! I think I may try adding the cinnamon to the mix next time.

  11. Lin says

    Just made this after getting my cacao nibs in the mail. I had it fir breakfast this morning with Greek yogurt. Heavenly! Thanks!

  12. Dawnab says

    Lol my cacao nibs just arrived in the mail too ( we may have caused a run on them). Can I use already roasted nuts? I find I am buying lots of specialty ingredients lately and would like to us either items I already have on hand.

  13. Arlene says

    I have tried many of your recipes Carolyn and they’re all good (even if it’s something I wouldn’t make again). This recipe has to be one of your best. To have “cereal” again for breakfast is awesome! Can’t wait to share with one of my diabetic friends. I used half ground flax and half ground chia; added about a tsp. of cinnamon (I was a bit worried about the fishy taste of the flax); shredded coconut as I didn’t have flakes; and once it was baked, I threw in some hemp seeds just for fun and a handful of raisins/dried cranberries so that my husband would eat it (didn’t have cocoa nibs). It turned out absolutely amazing. This recipe is a prizewinner in my books! Thanks again. A note to those who can only find granular erythritol: grind it in your coffee grinder, then let it sit a few minutes so that you don’t have a cloud of the stuff when you take the cap off.

  14. Isis says

    First of all, I hadn’t tried cacao nibs before this (and I have to confess, I didn’t even know what they were)…but they are GOOD! On a separate note, the granola is just plain awesome. Since I went low-carb and tried almond milk for the first time, I have dreamed about having it over a bowl of granola. Like literally, every time I had almond milk, it crossed my mind. Glad i held out for a low-carb version, though – now I can enjoy it with no guilt or worry about my blood sugar, and, it rocks with the almond milk! Here’s a tip, though: I have made this recipe twice. The first time I ground the nut/seed mixture into way too small of pieces, so there wasn’t a whole lot of “crunch” to the granola . On the second go-round, I actually hand-chopped all the nuts so some were very small and others were big and chunky. It was kind of labor-intensive, but it was worth it.

  15. sydney says

    Hi! This looks great. I am wondering how long this keeps (because of the eggs) and if it needs to be refrigerated when stored. Thank you!

    • Carolyn says

      It keeps for at least 5 days on the counter. The egg is cooked into it, so it’s not raw and shouldn’t be of concern.

  16. says

    You specify this as a PALEO recipe, HOWEVER to be paleo, you have to have ALL not synthetic, non-artificial, non-processed ingredients.
    Swerve Sweetener is NOT paleo — far from it.
    The closest zero-calorie sweetener to being true paleo is stevia, it is no-artificial, non-processed, and was used by paleo natives in South America. It is also FAR safer for you!

    • Carolyn says

      Did you actually read the option for coconut sugar in the recipe??? As someone who has an advanced degree in paleoanthropology, I am well aware that Swerve is not paleo, which is why there is a second option. But I am also someone who has diabetes, I have to be mindful of my blood sugar levels. Erythritol, which is the main component of Swerve, is naturally occurring and it is safe. As safe as stevia (which, by the way, can actually lower blood sugar and cause T1 diabetics issues!). Did you know that erythritol is found in the human fetus in high levels? You may want to check your facts before declaring that one sweetener is “FAR safer for you”.

  17. Katie says

    I love this granola! It has the perfect crunch and flavor. I can’t believe I used to have cereal and milk every day for breakfast growing up — so much sugar! I love eating a ketogenic diet and this granola will be a staple in my house. I had it with almond milk – yum. Thanks!

  18. Kathy says

    Have made this granola using almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds plus the other ingredients and it is delicious. Added cinnamon which I hear is supposed to be good for us diabetics. It makes a large amount so I keep the extra in the freezer and take out a one third cup when it is on my breakfast rotation. Highly recommend it.

  19. Kiki says

    I LOVED this — low carb but definitely NOT low calorie but with all the nuts and fiber, a little goes a long way and kept me full until lunch. I used almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts. Some of the nuts were raw (almonds, walnuts) and some roasted (sunflower seeds and hazelnuts) but it still turned out great. Cacao nibs are not cheap (they cost about $10 per cup) so I would probably substitute with some chopped up dark chocolate next time.

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