An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook

8.01.2011

Crunchy Coconut Pecan Granola



Moving right along with my goal of using ingredients already at home, granola is the perfect recipe.  Generally oats, some kind of oil, maple syrup, a dried fruit and nuts are always in my house.  And I just happen to be lacking in the cereal department on Saturday morning.  I also just happened upon three bags of nuts that no one wanted at work (because of expiration issues).  Lucky me.  All signs pointed to granola.  What a great way to start the weekend...and week.  Granola and coffee were the two things on the kitchen counter that got me out of bed this morning.

The best and most liberating aspect of granola is that you can use so many different ingredients.  Any type of sweetener will do: maple syrup or honey or agave nectar.  Many types of fats work such as butter, safflower oil or coconut oil.  Any variety of nuts and dried fruits are fine.  And any final additions like flax seed, chia seeds, or shredded coconut round out any recipe.  A little bit of crystalized ginger would give your morning a nice kick start.

Another note about this recipe is to make it at a point of the the day that you aren't ravenous, but hungry enough that you can wait about an hour until you eat.  I say this because I was in the former position.  I had just woken up, and while drinking my coffee, prepared the granola.  I was pretty hungry.  So I kept sneaking little spoonfuls of the oats mixed with the oil and maple syrup before they went into the oven (which by the way is quite nice)...and little nips of raisins and pecans.  So if you want a full batch by the end of cooking, eat a piece of fruit before making.

Crunchy Coconut Pecan Granola
Yields 2 cup granola

My main recommendation is to have fun with granola.  You can take so many angles with it.  Sprinkle in dried apricots or cranberries.  Toast up some macadamia nuts.  Toss in some peanut butter with the maple syrup.  Whatever you choose to do, always make it a different way next time.  Life's too short to live the same day twice...right? This recipe below was a representation of my cupboards from the weekend.  It will definitely be a different variety next time!

1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbsp ground chia or flax seeds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Pour the pecan halves onto a baking sheet lined with parchement paper or Silpat.  Toast in oven for about 8 minutes.  Pull pan out of oven and add the coconut flakes on top of the pecans.  Toast for about 3 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on this step because the coconut will burn easily.

Take out of oven and carefully remove the pecans and coconut from pan.  Chop the pecans into smaller pieces.  Set aside.

Prepare the oats by combining them in a medium bowl with the vanilla, coconut oil (melted), maple syrup and salt.  Mix well and then spread onto the same lined baking sheet.  Bake for a total of 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Pull out of oven and let sit for at least five minutes.  A very difficult step, but this allows the granola to really crispen.  Once cooled, toss with the pecans, coconut, raisins and chia seeds.  Sprinkle over granola or eat with your favorite milk beverage.

 

3 comments:

Jodi@garlicgirl said...

Alli, I've experimented with different oils for granola (even tried olive oil), but I haven't tried coconut oil. I like the way your granola turned out, so I hope I remember that in a couple weeks when I make a batch.

Mikaela Cowles said...

I've always thought it would be interesting to see how much I could make without buying anything. Play the "What can I make with what's here" game until I had to go completely re-stock. But after a while I always want fresh fruit or salad. This looks amazing though and will be a great thing when I take on the challenge again sometime.

Alli Shircliff said...

Thanks Jodi and Mikaela! Coconut oil is a great sturdy and mildly flavored oil to work with, especially when you add shredded coconut in the mix. It is always so fun and creatively challenging to use only foods on hand. Let me know how both of your granolas turn out!!