Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coconut, Blueberry, & Almond Granola

There's nothing like some good, old fashioned granola. The stuff that at one time was the food that only hippies ate. In fact, that's probably why those hippie people were seen as 'crunchy' people. Well you know what? I'm a granola-loving, veggie-munching crunchy person and I'm not ashamed in the slightest.  Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade and if I was around in the 60's, I most certainly would have been a hippie.
Once you make your own granola, you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff. And you're doing yourself a favor by going the homemade route. The store bought granola (no matter how natural it claims to be) is full of sugar and unhealthy fats. You might as well be eating Fruit Loops. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but believe me when I say that homemade granola is so much better! And the best part is that you can add whatever you want to it. In this recipe, I added shredded coconut, dried blueberries, and slivered almonds. But feel free to add any type of nut and fruit combination imaginable! Dried mango and macadamia nut? Goji berry and walnut? Cinnamon raisin with dried apples? Go crazy! Serve it on top of fresh fruit (I sprinkled it over figs, here, and it was incredible) or your favorite yogurt and you have yourself a beautiful breakfast or snack.
Coconut, Blueberry, and Almond Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup slivered almonds
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1 cup dried blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, almonds, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. Stir well until everything is evenly coated. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the oat mixture. Return it back to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven again, stir it one more time, and return it to the oven for another 5 minutes. It should be golden brown, but keep an eye on it because it can go from perfect to burnt very quickly.

2.  Remove from the oven and press the granola evenly with a spatula. Let cool and add the dried blueberries. Allow the granola to cool completely before storing in airtight containers. It can be stored at room temperature.

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