|A jar of granola, some out-of-season tomatoes, a really filthy window, and thou.|
I feel like all of my recipes should come with a disclaimer: This is just how I made it. Feel free to make it however you want. I'm definitely the type of cook who regards a recipe as a sort of loose guideline/framework rather than a blueprint that must be followed exactly. This is mostly because I'm lazy; if I have all the ingredients except one for a particular recipe, I refuse to go all the way out to the store (a whole .6 miles from my house)(see? LAZY) for that one thing. I would rather scrounge through my fridge/pantry to see what I already have and then make a substitution. Usually this works out okay, like substituting green onion tops for chives in an egg dish. Occasionally it doesn't, like the time my dad tried to make creamed cucumbers with powdered non-dairy coffee creamer. But, you know. That's how you learn.
I don't like to think of myself as a food snob -- I mean really, I will eat ANYTHING -- but I do have strong opinions when it comes to food, along with some weird prejudices. On the subject of granola, I don't like it too clumpy or too sweet, I prefer crispy to crunchy, and I refuse to put flavoring extracts in my granola. I don't know why; that's just how it is with me. This particular recipe makes a dry, not very sweet, delicately flavored granola, which is just how I like it. Please see the notes at the bottom of the recipe for ingredient explanations and possible substitutions if dry, not terribly sweet granola isn't your bag.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar granules
generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes; stir, rotate sheet 180 degrees, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until well-toasted. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
- I use Bob's Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut, which can be ordered online if your store doesn't carry it and is fabulous added to any sort of baked goods, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. So don't worry that you won't use a whole bag -- if you like coconut, you'll use this stuff up fast.
- Coconut chips are those big shaved bits of coconut, also called flaked coconut. They will get very brown/toasty in the oven. If that weirds you out, don't add them until halfway through the cooking time.
- I do NOT recommend substituting sweetened shredded coconut for either of the above -- it will burn and get weird. Also, I don't like it. But you do whatever.
- Coconut palm sugar -- it's what I had. Don't feel like you have to go out looking for this stuff -- just substitute brown sugar. Or, if you like your granola a little bit sweeter/clumpier, use a liquid sweetener like honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave nectar -- whatever you have, basically -- and increase the amount to 1/3 cup.
- Coconut oil is fabulous stuff and will really boost the coconut flavor of this granola, but if you don't have it, you could certainly substitute melted butter or a neutral-flavored vegetable oil.
- Feel free to stir in some chocolate chips or chunks after the granola has cooled completely. Because that would be amazing.