Monday, September 16, 2013

coconut granola

I'm really picky about granola. I don't like it when it has hard raisins in it, I'm always picking all the raisins out. Or things that are overly crunchy, and I don't like a bunch of seeds in it either. To give you some idea of my taste, I used to the love the Pumpkin Spice granola from Trader Joe's but the raisins ruined it for me. My next favorite is the Vanilla Almond Granola from Fresh & Easy, the most subtle one I have found without a bunch of stuff or dried berries that I don't want in there. 

So, I finally came up with my own which I think is super delicious. It's not overly sweet, has just a touch of salt, and I can bake it to my liking--still a little toothsome and not too crunchy. I started with an Alton Brown recipe and made a bunch of tweaks and this is what I came up with. 

Ever So Subtle Coconut Granola
from the kitchen of Tracy Flaming
This takes 1.5 hours

3 C old fashioned rolled oats
1 C unsweetened, organic shredded coconut
1 C brown sugar (not packed) 
1 C slivered almonds (or coarsely chopped almonds)
1 C pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 t. salt
1/4 C organic maple syrup
1 T. vanilla
1/4 C coconut oil*

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients--oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, & salt, and mix well.  
In a separate bowl, or in a glass measuring cup, combine maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour wet mixture over the oat mixture and stir really well to combine. 
Pour mixture onto two sheet pans and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes. Bake 15 minutes longer if you like a crunchier granola. You can add a cup of dried fruit after baking, if you’re into that kind of thing. And of course you can change out the nuts to your taste, or use a GF oat to make yourself some GF Granola!  

*Make sure your coconut oil is in liquid form when you measure, or your measurements will be all off. I mention this because mine remains in solid form in my cabinet and I have to heat it to liquid. 

Allow your granola to cool and store in an airtight container until it's all gone. Around here that's not long at all. I tried giving some to neighbors, even put it in a cute little glassine bag, um, it never made it to the neighbors. I ate it all. 

This is seriously the best granola I’ve ever tasted. My husband likes it and he’s not even a fan of coconut. Warning: this is not a low calorie food. 2 Tablespoons = 3 Weight Watchers points. But 2T is all you need sprinkled over a bowl of non-fat Greek yogurt with sliced bananas and berries. I have been known to walk by and grab a spoonful straight from the jar. It is that good. 

I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know if you try it out and what changes you make! 

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