Sunday, May 21, 2017

ChezCindy: My New Favorite Granola

Honey & Coconut Granola

Every so often I tweak my basic granola recipe and end up with a new favorite.  Nothing dramatic, but it brings a new flavor profile.  I most often use a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup as the sweetener.  This time I used local honey.  I also used coconut oil in place of olive oil.  If you are familiar with coconut oil, it has a consistency that changes based on room temperature.  If the room temperature is above 76 degrees, the oil will turn to a liquid.  Below that temperature, the oil is hard and solid.  These changes resulted in my granola remaining in planks or shards of granola as opposed to crumbly bits.  So, think of a crisp granola bar, however not as dense.  I loved it. 

Listed below is my new favorite granola.  The tweaks you can make are with including the type of seeds or no seeds; not a fan of coconut - leave it out; have a particular type of nut you enjoy or an allergy to nuts - swap it out.  Another option is to include dried fruit or not.  The combinations are wide and varied for you to create your new favorite.

Honey & Coconut Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw walnuts pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, seeds, walnuts, coconut, brown sugar and salt.  Stir to combine.  In a small pan, melt the coconut oil; stir in the honey to combine.   Pour the honey oil over the oat mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the honey oil to completely coat the oat mixture.  Divide the raw granola between the 2 prepared baking sheets, spreading into an even layer.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice during this baking time.  Continue baking for 15-20 additional minutes until the granola is golden brown and toasted.  If you want the granola to remain in planks or shards, do not stir again during this remaining baking time.  Remove the trays from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely without stirring.  This is where the magic takes place resulting in the solid layer of granola.  Once cool, break or cut into large pieces.  Store in glass containers.  The granola will keep at room temperature for up to a month. 

Note - If you would like to add dried fruit, add in at the time of the second stirring.  Continue baking as directed.

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