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Friday, July 15, 2011

Honey Coconut Granola Goodness

I wanted to title this blogpost: granola-SO-easy-I-can't-belive-I-haven't-made-it-from-scratch-before, but that's a bit long so I went with the description above for this delicious wholesome homemade granola. As soon as this granola was cool enough to touch, we were chowing down. We ate granola & yogurt for dinner last night, we just couldn't stop. The true foodie test for me is always in the next day. Does it still taste just as good or were we just super hungry? I am happy to report, that is was better than I remembered. I can easily see this healthy, golden goodness turning into an everyday kind of staple in our home.

There are a myriad of variations; you could easily subsitute other cooking oils, use a different sweetener, remove the dried coconut and add in some other kind of dried fruit (which you don't want to bake - stir it in after the final cooking process & before oats cool). All of the ingredients I used were enhanced by the roasting process, and I think it was the perfect combination.

What you need:
2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 Tablespoon Earth balance butter (or regular butter, I just prefer the taste of EB & they guarantee non-GMO ingredients. Hurray!)
3 Tablespoons honey

What you do:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

In a 9X13 *well greased (*important!) pan, roast rolled oats with the cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. The cinnamon will become very aromatic so you know the full flavor is developing.
Remove your roasted cinnamon oats. Add the rest of the ingredients directly to your pan. Stir after each addition to ensure even coating. If the honey or butter is slightly lumpy, it's alright, it will cook down as it bakes into the granola. Put the oats n' goodness back into your hot oven and bake for 30 minutes until the oats are golden in color. Stir often to allow for even cooking.

Let cool and break apart. Store in airtight container, up to 2 weeks. Seriously? I don't know why I am telling you this, it won't last that long.

Sidenote: most recipes say to cook granola on a cookie sheet, which would make it cook faster and be easier to break apart once cooled. But my granola is made directly in the baking pan, eliminating the need to dirty a bowl. How much more lazy, err, I mean efficient can I be than that?!? Also, it allows for larger clumps of granola goodness. We are clumpy kinda granola lovers around here.

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