Crunchy Granola (And I Don’t Mean Dirty Hippie)

granola

Somebody slap my hand because I can’t stay out of this homemade granola. I’m like a kid and a cookie jar. I talk about this like it’s a bad thing. It is, kind of. I mean, all of the ingredients are organic, healthy, whole foods, but I’m sure the calorie level is not okay when you eat handful after handful. Perfect for a pick-me-up but not so much as a main course.

I suppose I don’t need to mention that I love homemade granola. A few months back, I found this recipe posted by the NWI Society for Sustainable Living. It caught my eye because didn’t include honey (which I strangely don’t like, even though I TRY to like it,) it called for orange (which I LOVE) and large coconut shavings (because, duh.) I was finally able to get ingredients in bulk, so today…on this rainy, rainy morning…was a perfect day for granola. Although, not so perfect for my lack of will power. Enjoy!

Orange Coconut Granola
Author: 
 
Crunchy granola that is ingredient versatile. It has a delicious salty sweet flavor that heightens the orange coconut without being too overbearing.
Ingredients
  • 4 c. Organic Rolled Oats (bulk bin)
  • 1½ c. Organic Walnut Halves (bulk bin)
  • 1 c. Organic Large Shaved Coconut
  • ½ t. Sea Salt
  • ⅔ c. Organic Dried Fruit (Bulk bin - I used dried cherries, but can be raisins, berries, apricots, currants, etc.)
  • Grated zest of two Organic Oranges
  • ⅓ c. Organic Butter
  • ⅓ c. Organic Maple Syrup
  • ⅓ c. Juice from the oranges (one orange was enough - I ate the other)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees with racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Set out two rimmed baking sheets (no need to oil or spray.)
  2. Combine oats, walnuts, coconut, salt, dried fruit and orange zest in a large mixing bowl (hands work well.) Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir in maple syrup and orange juice. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then pour the maple mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated, at least 30 seconds. Divide the mixture equally between the two baking sheets and spread into a thin layer.
  3. Bake, stirring a couple times along the way for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the granola is toasty and deeply golden. You may want to rotate the pan once, top to bottom, to ensure even baking.
  4. Remove from the oven and press down on the granola with a metal spatula - you'll get more clumps this way. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 8 cups.
Notes
I found that the granola was already to dry to "press down" when it was finished, therefore I didn't end up with the clumps that I wanted. Next time, I will do the pressing when I rotate the pans, because the mixture will still be a bit more wet.

Excuse me while I go take a granola break.

———-

Just for comparison’s sake, here are the ingredients in Quaker Chewy Oatmeal raisin bars (it was the closest flavor to the granola above.)

Granola (whole grain rolled oats, sugar, rice flour, whole grain rolled wheat, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils* with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and/or sunflower oil with natural tocopherol added to preserve freshness, whole wheat flour, molasses, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, caramel color, barley malt, salt, nonfat dry milk), corn syrup, crisp rice (rice, sugar, salt, barley malt), raisins, oatmeal cookie pieces (sugar, wheat flour, rolled oats, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, sodium bicarbonate), sugar, corn syrup solids, glycerin, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil*, sorbitol, calcium carbonate, fructose, salt, natural and artificial flavor, molasses, soy lecithin, cinnamon, BHT (a preservative), citric acid.

*Adds a dietarily insignificant amount of trans fat

CONTAINS WHEAT, SOY AND MILK INGREDIENTS.

MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS.

3 Responses to Crunchy Granola (And I Don’t Mean Dirty Hippie)
  1. alita
    April 18, 2013 | 3:44 PM

    I need this. Like right now! … So hungry for real granola. And I love that you make it with maple syrup. Mmmmmm!

    • Toni
      April 18, 2013 | 3:55 PM

      So easy to make! Do you have local maple syrup farms around you? There are a few down here…but the organic maple syrup is really expensive…but worth it. :) Would much rather get some straight from a farm. In the next batch, I might add some sesame seed and little grated fresh ginger…maybe change the nuts to almonds or cashews? Hmm…so many variations! :)

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