Granola is summertime’s oatmeal. In the winter, old-fashioned oatmeal is my favorite breakfast. A little cinnamon and walnuts on top with coffee and fruit on the side – I am in heaven. But when the temperatures warm up, hot off the stove oatmeal loses its luster. Enter Granola.
As I have become more aware of all the fun things about sugar – it has kind of stolen the pleasure from enjoying most granolas. I sought a nutritional (I understand this is a relative term, but for me I try to avoid chemicals and preservatives, while watching added sugar) and tasty granola. The grocery store options were not cutting it. So I resorted to the old school way: making it at home.I borrowed elements of the granola from my favorite bakery at Miami (of OH!), which is how I bribed myself to study for the LSAT, and Cooking with a Wallflower’s Cranberry Granola. I made many batches. Tinkering with the ingredients and portions to find a sugar count with which I could live without sacrificing the taste. This recipe is easier than granolas I have previously made and my boys can help. It’s always an added bonus to teach them about cooking and they are so excited when the final product is ready and proclaim: I helped mommy make it! This is a crumbly, not a clustery, loose granola. It is good for yogurt and sometimes I will snack on it, but a spoon is needed. Here’s where I landed:
Toasted Coconut Granola
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup tri-colored quinoa
- 1 cup pecans pieces
- Favorite nut can be substituted. I have tried walnuts and almonds. I personally prefer the pecans. The sweetness and texture works well with the other ingredients.
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup honey
- In my tinkering, my lowest try was 1/8 cup of honey with 1 1/2 TB of oil. At this level the taste suffers, but is definitely still edible for those watching sugar super tightly.
- The less honey and oil, the quicker oats and coconut burn in the oven.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350
- Lightly grease a baking sheet
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix
- Pour mixture onto baking sheet and flatten evenly across the baking sheet
- Place in oven to bake for a total of 15 minutes, removing from oven every 5 minutes to stir to prevent burning
- Since oven temperatures vary, watch the granola and use your own judgment on how long to bake and the intervals at which to pull them out. The coconut can quickly change from golden brown to burnt brown!
Yields 5 1/2 cups of granola or 16 servings @ 1/3 cup and 11 servings @ 1/2 cup.
Added Sugar info
1/4 cup of honey = 68 grams of sugar
1/3 cup serving = 4.25g
1/2 cup serving = 6.18g
Disclaimer on my added sugar measurements: they are the product of my measuring cups, my calculator, internet nutritional information and online measuring conversion tools. These are not lab conducted analysis by any means, but my best ballpark to estimate added sugar.