Granola’s great in the summer. However, there’s something about heating up the oven, stirring up a large bowl of oats. And then letting the warm, toasty smells fill the room while baking away the morning of a cold winter day. Call it winter solace. Granola solace. Call it whatever you want to describe a moment that sometimes just can’t be summed up in words.
Coconut flakes are my new obsession, and I find them now to almost be a mandatory component of granola. I tracked through Philadelphia for nearly 2 hours – across 5 different stores – just to find them a few months ago, determined to make this Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Coconut Bacon. At the time, I was questioning my sanity. But after finally finding the flakes, and later obsessing over them during multiple cooking encounters, I am now questioning the sanity of the stores that are not carrying them. Coconut flakes are worth every last step of an adventure to go find them.
For my Philly followers, check out Essene Market in Queen’s Village. For everyone else, I got tipped off along my travels that Vitacost.com is a good place to order coconut flakes.
Whatever you do, don’t succumb to buying the shreds. Unfortunately, they’re simply not the same as their larger, flakier counterpart.
Feel free to play around with the nuts you use in your granola. I personally love a little variety. Pecans, walnuts & almonds are always a must for me, and various other seeds are generally just an added, crunchy health bonus.
Spoon over hot or cold cereal in the morning, enjoy as is with milk, or simply pack a handful in a bag to eat on the run. Granola is a versatile, energy-packed snack, and when you make it yourself, you can ensure you’re fueling up on the good stuff. Forget chowing down on a bag of sugar and unnecessary processed ingredients. That’s no good. Plus, when you skip out on making it yourself, you miss that toasty smell from your oven like I mentioned before. Nothing beats that.
- -4 1/2 cups oats
- -1 1/4 cups coconut flakes (make sure to get flakes, not shredded coconut)
- -1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- -3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- -1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- -1/2 cup pecans
- -2 scant Tbsp. cinnamon
- -1/8 tsp. cardamom (optional)
- -1/8 tsp. nutmeg (or more, if you're fond of the flavor)
- -1/4 tsp. salt
- -1/2 cup raisins
- -1/3 cup safflower oil
- -1/2 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 325F. Toss oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the syrup and oil together in a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour the combined mixture over the dry ingredients.
- Stir until the oats are thoroughly coated with the oil/syrup. Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, checking periodically to stir, and stir in raisins halfway through.
- Remove from oven once golden brown. Let the granola cool. Eat & enjoy.