I don’t know about you, but I’m a snacker. As I’ve been on my healthy journey, I’ve learned that I almost always feel my best when I can get a small snack in between both breakfast and lunch. I usually opt for fresh fruit, a green smoothie, or a handful of nuts. But recently, I’ve been craving something a little different. Something that has healthy complex carbohydrates to fill me up and a touch of sweetness that satisfies my sweet tooth.
Granola is something I’ve made many times in the past, but admittedly since I tend to not stick to recipes as they’re written all that often – the batches I’ve made have come out tasting a little flat sometimes. One of the things I love about making my own granola at home is that I get to control what goes into it. There is no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated something-something solids. Just real foods that I can choose the quality and quantity of. There’s nothing more satisfying than eating something that tastes good and I know is good for me.
I found a recipe recently that used coconut oil and shredded coconut as the base and thought that I just had to give it a try. The trick that I learned from this recipe was that low and slow is better than high and fast when it comes to cooking granola. I also learned that in order for my granola to taste decadent and delicious – I need to add more decadent ingredients (who would have thought!). This recipe calls for a lot more coconut oil or sweetener than I normally would use in my granola, but after tasting it – I know why! It’s damn delicious with that much. I’m converted. And if I’m thinking about my fat or sugar intake, I’ll just eat a little less of a serving.
Here’s the delicious Nutty Coconut Granola recipe I created after riffing off the Coconut Oil Granola from jessiemonds.com.
Nutty Coconut Granola
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
- Heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in oats and shredded coconut.
- Refrigerate until coconut oil is hard then break it up into large clusters. (I didn’t find this step necessary, but did it anyway)
- Bake for 20 minutes, then open the oven and sprinkle chopped walnuts and almonds over the top of the oat mixture.
- Set timer for 10 minute intervals and stir oats starting from the outer corners working it in. My batch took about 55 minutes total. The granola will continue to harden as it cool so pull it when they are golden brown. Store in glass jar with tight fitting lid for a week or so.
This granola has become my favorite recipe FAST. When it first came out of the oven, I couldn’t keep my hands off the hot pan sneaking a taste. And even now, I have to portion out how much I’ll eat – otherwise I’ll be digging around grabbing a handful all afternoon. It’s seriously delicious – you’ve got to try it!
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