Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cherry Coco-nutty Granola


I was betrayed today. At the farmer's market, I picked up a seemingly innocent box of granola. On the front, it listed oats, almonds, cranberries, coconut, and apple juice. I was ecstatic to enjoy some healthy, no-added sugar or oil granola. 

Not quite. Apparently this wasn't the real ingredients list but just the main flavorings. On the back, I found a list including sugar and oil. Grr.....

So, I decided to make my own granola out of healthy, whole ingredients, as there really does seem to be a lack in this field. Have you seen how many granola recipes out there are drowning in oil and sugar? Plus, I had a healthy fat source to try out. 

Presenting, coconut manna!

It's in the coconut butter family, and, although I hesitate to write this, I think it just might be better than peanut butter. (Gasp! I'm sorry peanut butter, but it's true.) I've had it with dates, carrots, and a spoon, and it imparts a subtly sweet decadently rich flavor to it all. The best part?

Its just pure coconut! I warn you, when you first get the jar, its a pain to homogenate. I spent a good half an hour at least soaking the jar in hot water and then attacking it with a spoon to try and get the oil on top to mix with the rock hard sediment on the bottom. But, you know, it was definitely worth the effort. 

So, armed with my new coconut manna and some dried tart cherries we also picked up at the farmer's market, I headed to the kitchen. After a few tweaks on my original recipe, I managed to create something that my sister and even my brother can agree is quite good. 

(Serves 1-2)

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/4 cup Dried Tart Cherries (or substitute dried fruit of choice)
  • 1/4 cup Almonds (or substitute nut of choice)
  • 1/4 cup Sweetener (I used Stevia. Note: my brother thought it should be sweeter, so you can play with this if you have a sweet tooth)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Manna
  • 1 tbsp Hot Water (Yes, it really does need to be hot)
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
NOTE: For fruit-sweetened granola, leave out the water and stevia, and use 1/3 of a banana (melted in the microwave for 30 sec) and 1 1/2 tbsp applesauce

1. Chop up the almonds
2. Place all the ingredients beside the hot water in a bowl, and mix. The coconut butter will not really blend in that well assuming your kitchen is kinda cold like ours, but just do your best. 

3. Heat up the water and place into the bowl and mix. Now, the oats should cling together a little, but mostly be separated. 
4. Place in the over at 350 for about 15 minutes until lightly crisp. Stir often so that it doesn't burn.

5. Let cool, and enjoy!

If you're like us, waiting for food to cool when it is hot out of the oven is blasphemy. Needless to say, we ate our granola on the spot. However, if you want your granola good and crunchy, I would recommend cooling it. 


For those who are wishing for a fruit-sweetened granola, not a stevia-sweetened one, T3 comes to the rescue! I made a triple batch of the above subbing the water and stevia for a melted banana (microwave the banana for 1 minute and stir until liquid-y) and 1/4 cup applesauce. For a single batch, use 1/3 of a banana (melted) and 1 and 1/2 tbsp applesauce. 

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