Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coconut Maple Almond Granola

As a teenager, I can remember seeing my Mom, who rarely snacked on anything, utterly obsessed with Quaker granola. Like most of us at that time, she thought it was good for her.  All granola was good then right?  Life was so much simpler then too..... or so we thought!

I guess the love of granola lay dormant in me for decades and recently resurfaced.  I love snacking on it plain, eating it for cereal with just a little milk, topping my homemade yogurt with it - but like my Mom, it was not as healthy as I thought it was. Sure I bought it at a health food store (no guarantee there!), but it was still loaded with sugar and who knows what else.  So I finally decided, after seeing blog after blog share a favorite recipe, that it just couldn't be that difficult to make.  And you know what?  It was even easier than I imagined.  And you can customize it however you want.  Best of all, you know exactly what is in it.

ready to go in the oven...

adapted from Organize Yourself Skinny

3 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. Penzeys Baking Spice or cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut shreds
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut shavings*
1 c. honey roasted sliced almonds (Trader Joe's)
3/4 c. pure maple syrup - Grade B (more intense flavor)
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. almond extract

*I liked the different textures from coconut shreds and shavings (larger pieces) but you can use one or the other too.

Preheat the oven to 325..  In a large bowl, mix the oats, baking spice or cinnamon, salt, coconut and honey roasted almonds.  Mix it really well and then add the maple syrup, coconut oil and tsp of almond extract.

Spread the granola mixture on a baking sheet lined n parchment paper.  Bake for roughly 30-35 minutes.  After 20 minutes, stir well and then stir about every 5 minutes.  It is done when lightly toasted.  It will cook more and get crunchier as it cools, so don't overcook it (like I did the first time!)

Lightly toasted...

When it is cool, store in a large airtight container.

I added raisins to the cooled batch before storing.  I had raisins to almost everything - I love them.  Chopped dates would be great as would diced dried apriocots.  Customize to your own tastes.  So good!

All mixed with raisins and ready to eat

I store mine in a cereal keeper. And I label everything.
You should see my pantry with all of the flours I am trying..... all labeled. 
Anything that is immobile for a period of time ends up wearing a label! :)
Full disclosure!!

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