Uncluttered Granola

I realize the title of this recipe is not the most intriguing: isn’t granola all about the diversity of textures and tastes?  A cluttered, nut filled, fruit loaded, seed-prolific, and maybe even chocolate enhanced granola sounds incredible, and a way better alternative to plain old toasty oats with some coconut.  

Here’s the argument:
When I get carried away in making a “choc full of everything in my pantry granola,” it often ends up a little confused. The amount of cinnamon I can’t resist adding masks the flavor of the coconut, and the chewy and sweet dried fruit overpowers the crunch and toastiness of the oats (is it obvious what my favorite parts of granola are yet?)

This recipe is a celebration of these two basic, cheap, and entirely delicious granola ingredients. It also turns out to be the tastiest thing you can put on top of yogurt. Though I love clumpy, nutty, dried fruit-y granola, I find these crispy, crunchy, coconutty oats to be the best companion to the happy simplicity of a snow white dollop of yogurt drizzled with honey.

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Uncluttered Granola

One of my favorite food websites has a non-recipe for granola: a guideline of ingredient proportions to get you started on making your own recipe. This dictated the amounts and general directions in my recipe, though I changed the oven setting (as 350 degrees almost burned my oats! The drama of my life…)

2 cups oats
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the honey and oil and mix to combine. Drizzle the honey/oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and spread the granola out on it (though keeping the granola away from the edges of the pan as best you can – the oats at the edges burn the fastest).

Bake the granola for 20 minutes, checking a few times throughout to make sure it’s not burning. Stir if you wish (and if you see that one side of the granola is browning a lot faster than the other), but less stirring yields more clusters**

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to a lidded container and it will keep for weeks!

 

*Unsweetened coconut is a little harder to track down than sweetened coconut (though if a store has it, it’s most likely Bob’s Red Mill), but it’s worth it. Sweetened coconut doesn’t usually taste very coconutty to me – just sweet. The unsweetened variety lends a big coconut flavor while letting you control the sweetness of the granola with honey. **though this is generally a very loose granola- there’s not enough sugar and there’s no binding agent to form many clusters. For more of those clustery pieces you can’t resist shaking the container around to find, add in an egg white to the wet mixture.

 

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