Coconut Granola Crunch
There are a lot of words people have used to describe me. I’ve heard silly, sassy, fickle, and frugal. On a good day, intelligent and attractive may also make the list. But never in my life have I been described as “granola”. Oh sure, I rode horses and hiked trails at summer camp for eight years and a coworker once told me she thought I’d do well on Survivor, but the truth is, too much time away from my turbo-charged hairdryer and I start getting the shakes. Peeing in the woods is not my scene and mascara is a non-negotiable. I am a city girl. Granola I am not.
But granola I love to eat. It’s sweet and crunchy and earthy and filling. If you’re a blog reader, you’ve likely noticed that tons of food bloggers are rolling out plenty of delicious recipes for of homemade granola. This is my contribution, and it is gooooooood. The coconut adds sweetness while ground flax and chia seeds add a smidge of protein. I like it with blueberries and soy milk, and can’t wait to try it on top of vanilla frozen yogurt. Set aside some time on a Sunday morning to whip up a batch of this delicious stuff, unless of course, you’re more granola than me and do your hiking on Sunday mornings. In that case, pick up a bag of trail mix and a Slim Jim and enjoy the day!
Coconut Granola Crunch
(adapted from Sur La Table cookbook)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut
Position one rack in the center of the oven, and another rack in the lower third. Preheat to 325.
1) In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, honey, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until combined (the oil will not blend into the paste–do not be alarmed). Add the oats to the mixture, using your hands to massage ingredients together. Gently crush some of the oats with your fingers.
2) Divide the oat mixture between 2 large nonstick rimmed baking sheets and spread the small clumps of oats evenly with a silicone spatula. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pans from the oven. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of almonds over each pan of oats and stir to combine. Return the pans to the oven, switching the pans between the racks, and bake for 5 minutes more.
3) Remove the pans from the oven and divide the flax and chia seeds equally between the pans. Stir. Return the pans to the oven, rotating them between the racks, and bake 10 minutes more.
4) Remove the pans from the oven and divide the coconut between the pans, stirring to mix. Return the pans to the oven, switching the pans one last time, and continue baking until coconut is golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the pans; don’t worry if it’s not crisp right away, it will dry out and crisp as it cools. Once cool, you can stir in dried fruits if you wish.