This week, I have something very special for you. Do me a favor, get in your kitchen and make this. :)
If you miss classic granola or cereal, I think you will be one happy camper. I love to put this on top of my superfood smoothies, or you can make a cozy bowl of granola topped with simple almond or coconut milk.
Make sure to store it in a glass jar to keep it crisp and crunchy. Let it cool completely before putting the jar on the lid. After cooking you can add dried fruit if you like, but it really doesn't need it.
I used orange juice and just a touch of maple syrup to keep the sugar low. This is not a sweet granola. It is full of flavor and nutrition with a light sweetness. It will leave you feeling satisfied, balanced and energized.
- 3 ½ cups large coconut flakes
- ½ cup almonds, raw (sliced gives the best texture)
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, raw
- ½ cup pecan pieces, raw
- 2 tablespoons oil (I used hazelnut; any nut/seed or avocado oil will work perfectly)
- 4 tablespoons orange juice (juice of 1 small navel orange)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
- Gather: Combine the nuts, seeds and coconut in a large bowl.
- Simmer: Place the remaining ingredients (liquids, spices, etc) in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix: Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and stir well, make sure everything is evenly coated.
- Spread: Line one large or two medium sheet pans with parchment paper (for easy clean up) and spread the mixture in a thin layer. It's important that the mixture is a thin single layer or it will not cook evenly.
- Bake: Place the pans in the oven and cook at 325 degrees for 35-50 minutes. I give a large window on the time because all ovens vary, and the placement in the oven also makes a difference. Make sure to STIR THE GRANOLA every 10 minutes or so. When you stir, bring the golden edges to the center and move it around. This is important for even cooking.
- Check: Make sure to bake it until the coconut is an even deep golden brown.
- Cool: Allow it to cool for a while before placing in jars. Don't put the lid on until it is 100% cool. If you must keep it in plastic bags vs. glass jars, I recommend keeping it in the freezer.
Here are the basics to create your own Grain Free Granola:
- 6 -7 cups of dried goods: Nuts, seeds, coconut
- 5-6 ounces liquid: I recommend at least 1/3 of that liquid to be some type of oil
- Spices, sweetener and dried fruit of your choice.
- Remember to add the dried fruit after you have cooked the granola and it has cooled completely. Dried white mulberries are a perfect wholesome and delicious dried fruit. They have hints of caramel and vanilla and the moister the mulberry the better. You may need to shop around if you can't find them.
- If you prefer a sweeter granola, you can sub all maple syrup for orange juice or add 2 tablespoons coconut sugar.
- Or to cut out the fruit, you can also swap out the orange juice for another juice, carrot would be delicious. Maybe you have some around from last weeks smoothie recipe.