There are some things that I just completely LOVE. I mean, LOVE. One of the things I completely love is granola. Yes, granola! I know, I never talk that much with you or anyone I know about granola.
Because, it's granola! But today I was talking about granola with my American expat friend that lives in Italy. We chatted about how yummy granola is and how she has never made it.
I explained to her that she has got to make it! The reason being, it's so easy to put together! Really, super easy! Most days, when I make granola, it's after taking a quick inventory of what I have in my baking cabinet. I always for sure have oats. I hardly every make oatmeal and oatmeal cookies, so I wonder why I always have oats...but I have them! So, check! Have the main ingredient: oats.
Next, I glance around and see what fun nuts I have and dried fruit. Since it's fall, I most definitely had dried cranberries. Look how pretty and sparkly they are in the light...they look like gorgeous rubies!
Now, here is a little secret! I always have ground flax seed and toasted wheat bran. Why is that a secret? Because my daughter would most likely not be interested in eating this if she knew those two ingredients were in her granola. Because they don't sound that appealing to most teens. So I keep that my secret and it gets all mixed up with all the other fantastic ingredients to make the most delicious granola!
Very important tip when baking with coconut...please, PLEASE...don't leave the kitchen when you add the coconut and say, "I'll be right back. I have to take a call." Or, "Let me just check my messages or tweet something.". That is a big no-no! You have to stay right there in the in front of the oven. Leave the oven door closed for 2 minutes. But on the 3rd minute, open the door and check out your coconut. Is it starting to turn brownish? Ok...your granola is ready! Depending on your oven, that may happen on the 4th minute. But I'm warning you. Browned, or worst yet, burned coconut, tastes absolutely horrible! And after all, you're finally making your own granola...don't mess it up.
So you didn't mess up the coconut part, what do you have awaiting you? The most tasty and fun breakfast idea. Or snack or a quick mid-morning energy treat. It's healthy from the oats, the seeds, the flax seeds and toasted wheat bran. If you want to use 1/4 cup apple juice and 1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil), instead of 1/2 cup coconut oil...that's fine. I'm not crazy about the flavor fro the apple juice. Change it up with other dried fruits or nuts. Impress your friends and family. It tastes better than any store-bought granola and costs so much less! If you only want to add the ground flax seed and skip the toasted wheat bran, that's fine! Just have fun with this granola and make it often!
Adapted from Whole Living.
Super Easy Cranberry-Coconut Granola
- 2 cups regular rolled oats
- 1/4 pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons flax meal
- 1 Tablespoon toasted wheat bran
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional when adding dried fruit
- 1/2 cup coconut chips (to be added during last few minutes of baking)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with baking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the oats,pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, flax meal,toasted wheat bran, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
- In a small pan on medium heat, combine the coconut oil (or vegetable oil), maple syrup, honey, brown sugar. Whisk together the ingredients and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the mixture is fully combined and moist. Spread the mixture on the greased baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and stir around the granola (break up any large chunks that may have formed). Bake for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add the coconut chips. Bake another 2-3 minutes (not any longer, or the coconut will brown and taste horrible).
- Remove from oven and stir it around again. Let it cool. When totally cooled, stir in an airtight container.