I haven’t tried a lot of store-bought granola but I can’t imagine it getting much better than the homemade version. It’s easy to make. It’s cheaper. You can be sure to use only the good stuff. You can go a gazillion ways with said good stuff to suit your tastes. Which makes it infinitely more delicious. It’s the only way to go.
I’m usually out the door by around 5:30 in the morning for my radio show and a quick breakfast that can be taken on the road is a godsend for me, more so if it’s healthy and yummy! And if you have new year’s resolutions along the lines of “stop stuffing my face with junk” (and who doesn’t?), I think this will help do the trick quite nicely.
I used this recipe as a guide and excitedly whipped up my first batch a couple of weeks ago using:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup wild honey
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (Oh my god, more on cooking with coconut oil in a bit!)
1 cup whole almonds
About 1 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
About 1/3 cup dried blueberries
About 1/3 cup dried figs
About 1/4 cup walnuts
About 1/4 cup pine nuts
A pinch salt
1 t vanilla extract
About 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1. Preheat your oven to 175 C/350 F. Combine rolled oats, nuts and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine the honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Transfer the oats and nuts into the big bowl and stir to mix well.
Pause. Because I need to rave about coconut oil. While its benefits are well-documented and it’s been around for a while, I have never cooked with the stuff. It just never occurred to me to do that and I think I associated it too much with massages. But then I was up in Tagaytay recently and my friend Choob made a banana and coco jam sandwich with bread toasted in butter and coconut oil and it was like my taste buds were getting a hug.
Coconut oil has a very strong distinct flavor which won’t go with everything but when it does go with something, it’s absolutely wonderful. Just make sure to read the label before buying to make sure you can cook with it.
3. Spread granola mixture on a baking tray with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Mine took a little over 30 minutes probably because my baking tray is small and the granola was layered on thick.
4. When this was almost browned to my liking, I took it out of the oven and stirred in the desiccated coconut and dried fruits. Adding the dried fruits last will prevent them from burning. I also split this mixture into two trays to help it brown faster, about 10 more minutes in the oven. I suggest you just keep an eye on it until it browns to your liking.
When done, let cool to room temperature. It will crisp up once cooled, too. Store in airtight containers.
In the morning I pour some of this into a bowl, add some sliced bananas and drown everything in some soy or almond milk then it’s off to work I go with the bowl in tow. It’s delicious and it makes me feel SUPER, YAY 🙂
I like this so much that I’ve since made it with raisins, craisins and sunflower seeds and given them away as gifts. Because the peeps I love deserve only the best!
I’ve made this many, many times now and my favorite version is made by adding the desiccated coconut from the start so that it toasts and intensifies. Don’t bother toasting the dried fruit. Instead, just mix them in when your granola is cooled to room temperature. I find that toasted dried fruit cools to little sugar rocks.
Fun Food Fact: January is National Oatmeal Month in the US because it’s when oatmeal is most popular. Does it coincide with the first month of the year and the resolutions that come with it by chance? I think not.