My dad used to have his own special bag of granola in our pantry when I was a little kid. It was green and white and filled with chunky, sweet, raisin-y, buttery granola and I always begged to “borrow” a little bit in my breakfast cereal.
I still am a complete sucker for granola, but am frequently disappointed with those on offer at the store. They either aren’t hearty enough, or are too dry, too sweet, or filled with too much “stuff” and not enough delicious, natural goodness.
I have tried one million and one recipes for granola and I think that this one is going to be “mine” for a while – the secret to the fabulousness of this recipe is the coconut manna that acts as the fat for the recipe. I am absolutely in love with the texture and rich taste of the creamy coconut meat and, when baked, it creates a crunchy, buttery texture that just rocks.
All winter, I have been making this granola to sprinkle over hot cereal to make it a bit more interesting. As the months get warmer, I tend to switch to fresh fruits and yogurt but granola is always for breakfast. So much so, that I pack the granola into little plastic bags and toss them in my suitcase when I travel and race.
I love to use dates, coconut, golden raisins, pecans and almonds here but you can choose nuts and fruits that float your boat. Enjoy! – xo L
- 2 cups organic rolled oats
- 1 cup of large flake unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 Tbsp evaporated cane juice
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds or your favorite nut
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp coconut manna
- 1 cup dried cherries, dates, and golden raisins
- Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a heatproof bowl, warm the coconut manna – I do this in the microwave but you could do it over the stove if you prefer. Add the maple syrup. Set aside.
- In a large, broad bowl suitable for mixing, combine all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the fruits. Mix well. Pour the syrup + manna over the granola ingredients and mix very well. The coconut manna has a tendancy to stick together and so you’ll want to use a spatula to press and mix the mixture so that the manna is evenly distributed. You’ll be able to see when all of the oats, nuts and goodies are coated well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, stirring often until golden brown and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven and add the fruits. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container. It should stay for several weeks but, in truth, I have never tried to test….it is always devoured well before that!