The problem with granola.
Once you start making your own, you can’t go back.
Sure, you still eat the store-brought stuff. But you don’t quite enjoy it as much as the batch you made by yourself right at your own home. The granola you measured and mixed and toasted and tossed – all by yourself – that’s the one that tastes the best.
Of course, if it happens to contain flax seed and sunflower seeds and sliced raw almonds and oh-so-healthy coconut oil, then you feel all the more virtuous eating it. You think, well it’s so healthy that I can toss in some dried cherries (high sugar content, but it’s still fruit, and it will lend a wonderful punch of sour). Oh and maybe some white chocolate chunks too? Just a little bit, just to add some… pops of white (and so you can have a teeny amount of chocolate for breakfast).
I’ve posted one other granola recipe on this blog (Dark Chocolate Almond Granola) before this but I have made many different batches since – just substituting the mix-ins. I always use the same base of old-fashioned oats, ground flax seed, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds. Sometimes, when I’m feeling feisty, I add walnuts too.
(I also always use the same old vintage mixing bowl from my mom. And by vintage I mean thrift store.)
This latest one is an instant favorite. It was my first time cooking with coconut oil, and not only did it lend a lovely aroma to my entire apartment, but the granola acquired an almost tropical flavors, which was made doubly good by the toasted coconut flakes, too.
I found that the secret to making good granola (and not burning it – because I’ve burned a couple of batches) is cooking it low and slow. I cooked this batch for nearly an hour at 275 degrees, but I did increase the heat to 300 for the last 15 minutes, which I think resulted in the beautiful golden brown color.
I was pretty generous with the salt in this batch: I added some salt to the dry oatmeal mixture, then I added more salt to the liquid mix of coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. The end result was a perfect blend of salty-sweet flavors.
Double Coconut and Cherry Granola
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sweetened raw coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat oven to 275.
In a big bowl, mix together the oat, almonds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Bring the coconut oil, butter, honey, sugar, and the remaining salt to a simmer on the stove. Cook for three to five minutes. Turn off heat and add the vanilla extract.
Pour hot syrup over the oat mixture and toss well to coat.
Spread out granola onto two parchment paper-lined sheet trays and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally and turning trays midway through. Increase the oven heat to 300 after 45 minutes, but Watch the granola carefully because you don’t want to burn the coconut. It is done when it turns into a toasty golden brown color.
Wait for granola to cool, then toss with the dried cherries and white chocolate. Enjoy!
Do you like granola? What’s your favorite flavor combination?