Over the years, granola and granola bars have often been marketed as "health" foods because they contain whole grains. However, many people are unaware that most granola contains refined and added sugars, sometimes almost as much as in a candy bar.

While there are granola brands and recipes that use less sugar or fewer additives, their granola is often not paleo, because it usually contains refined cane sugars, brown sugar, and oats, all of which are eliminated from the paleo diet. To understand what makes these granola recipes paleo, it is vital to understand what makes up a paleo diet. The paleo diet mimics the way that our ancestors used to eat 10,000 years ago. Most diets incorporated meat, fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and healthy fats. There are many different Paleo-style diets, but most prohibit refined sugars and grains. 

Store-bought granolas often have added sweeteners, which can turn them into more of a dessert than a breakfast. Whether or not you eat paleo, these 11 paleo granola recipes are delicious and easy to put together.

1. Dark Chocolate Granola

There have been days that I have fantasized about eating chocolate for breakfast. With this dark chocolate granola, my dreams can finally come true. This granola uses chocolate chips, nut butter (as a binding agent), cinnamon, maple syrup, and egg whites to create a healthy and protein-packed granola. One of the great things about this granola is that it forms clusters, meaning it will make less of a mess as you make and eat it.

#SpoonTip: Peanuts aren't allowed on the paleo diet. Use cashew or almond butter in this recipe to make it 100% paleo. 

2. Maple Cinnamon Paleo Granola

One of my favorite breakfast foods are cinnamon rolls because they're gooey, soft, and sweet and melt in your mouth like little bites of heaven. This granola is filled with flavors from maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon that recreate that signature morning treat without the sticky, sugary icing of a typical bun. 

3. Chunky Cluster Granola

I enjoy granola clusters rather than regular granola because they hold their shape really well. They also do not crumble easily, which is great because it means you do not have to sweep up the crumbs. Sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with cinnamon, these delicious clusters make for the perfect topping to your morning breakfast. Not only is this granola paleo, but it is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

#SpoonTip: Buying nuts in bulk containers is much more cost-effective than packaged ones (it's also more environmentally-friendly!). 

4. Banana Split Granola

This granola is an ode to one of my favorite ice cream treats. It incorporates crunchy bananas, freeze dried strawberries, dark chocolate, and walnuts for a delicious, dairy-free summer treat. 

5. Hippie Paleo Granola

The name of this granola may sound silly, but I promise it is delicious. It incorporates figs, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, and almonds. The dried figs give it a sweet flavor while the pumpkin seeds give it a salty crunch. I love this recipe because it packs in 7 grams of protein with each serving. 

#SpoonTip: Nuts and seeds contain many fats. As long as you enjoy them in moderation, they are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamin E.

6. Berry Granola

I really love eating berries, because not only are they good for you, but they taste super delicious, too. This recipe incorporates a myriad of freeze-dried berries and coconut. Unlike other recipes that use walnuts, cashews, or almonds, this recipe includes tiger nuts. They add a nice crunch to the granola and are a unique twist on the classic nutty granola. 

7. Turmeric Granola

Turmeric may not sound like a classic granola ingredient, but it works so well in this recipe. The flavor is unique and subtle. It doesn't taste like curry, but rather adds a kick of warmth. In addition, turmeric has many health benefits, such as helping to prevent cancer and making your skin clearer. 

8. Pecan Pie Granola

Around fall time, I enjoy making pecan pie. However, it's often made with lots of sugar. I find that this granola is the perfect way to get my fix of pecan pie, without the gluten or refined sugar. This granola is not overly sweet, but just sweet enough to satisfy your autumn cravings. 

9. Gingerbread Granola

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, not only because I get a long break from school, but also because of the holiday baking. From sugar cookies to chocolate chip cookies to gingerbread, my favorite is always gingerbread. I really love the spices, warmth, and aroma from gingerbread cookies, so when I saw this recipe, I immediately fell in love with it. The recipe incorporates maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, ground ginger, pecans, almonds, and even molasses, which gives it that signature gingerbread flavor. 

10. Honey Almond Granola

This is a classic granola recipe. While I do like recipes that use unique ingredients such as tiger nuts or turmeric, I sometimes like to go with the classic flavors. The almonds here are perfectly toasted, while the honey provides the granola with a subtle sweetness. This is one of my go-to recipes for granola because there are so many ways to customize it. I can make the basic recipe, or add on whatever I want, from coconut to cacao nibs to dried cherries. 

11. Pumpkin Granola 

Calling all pumpkin spice lovers! If you love pumpkin pie like I do, this granola is sure to be a hit during the fall. It is sweet, nutty, and has a subtle pumpkin flavor that is not overpowering. 

It may seem hard to believe that these paleo granola recipes are free from gluten and refined sugar, but I promise they taste just as delicious as ones made with cane sugar and oats. Though you might be able to buy paleo granolas in stores or online, making your own is more fun and allows you to be creative too.

By using different kinds of nuts, fruits, spices, and flavors, you can create hundreds of different combinations to suit your taste. It also allows for you to use old ingredients, such as nuts or dried fruit, that you have in your pantry. Not only does granola go perfectly with yogurt, it also goes well with ice cream, on top of a crisp, in a salad, or baked in muffins. The next time you want granola, dig out these ingredients and make a delicious, healthy treat.