Back in February I wrote a post about how making granola made me a more confident cook. I love a bowl of granola and Greek yogurt in the morning, so three years ago I set out to make my own. I started with Early Bird's olive oil granola recipe, and ended up — dozens of batches later — right here, with a just-sweet-enough granola that's crunchy and caramelized, and full of good things like pecans, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, and dried cherries.
You may be tempted to sub the coconut palm sugar for regular brown sugar, but I encourage you to try it! Coconut sugar has a deeper, more caramelized flavor, and it adds a wonderfully nutty, earthy sweetness to the granola that you just can't replicate with regular brown sugar.
Feel free to add as much or as little dried fruit as you want, too, as this granola can stand on its own. Sometimes I even skip the dried fruit altogether in favor of topping a bowl with fresh strawberries or blueberries.
I love the use of coconut flakes in this recipe — they bake up so toasty and sweet! Overall, it's not a very sweet granola, which I prefer, and it has a really great crunchy texture. I didn't line the baking sheet with parchment and would probably do so next time, but a metal spatula easily scraped up the little bits that stuck.
- Christine, May 2015
Granola with Pecans, Cherries & Coconut Flakes
3 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup dried cherries, currants, or a mix, coarsely chopped if large
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Mix dry ingredients together, followed by the wet ingredients and spices. (Save the fruit for later). Spread on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until crunchy and golden brown. Remove from oven, add the dried fruit, and stir to loosen up the granola and mix in the cherries. Cool completely before storing.
Store in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days.