RECIPE: Maple Almond Coconut Spiced Granola
I know there are great store-bought granolas out there. But when you make some from scratch, you understand why it is worth the effort. The flavors are just deeper and the texture crunchier. You can also customize it the way you want. The following recipe is a great "base" for you to add what you like more of-or even what you want to get rid of in your cupboard. Granola can be kept in an air-tight container for a week or so. You can use it as a cereal, over yogurt, on fruit, on ice cream or even as part of a strudel topping for various cakes and muffins. Give it a try one morning and have everyone wake up to wonderful smells coming out of the oven, and a delicious treat to boot.
Honey Almond Coconut Spiced Granola
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup almond slices
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup sesame seeds1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (you can use salted if you wish)
4 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
4 Tbsp. warm water
7 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250˚. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, coconut, seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk honey, sugar, water, maple syrup, oil and vanilla until simmering and well combined. Pour over the oat mixture and mix well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, making an even layer with a spoon but still keeping as many "clumps" as possible. Bake until evenly browned, about an hour and a half. Stir occasionally and gently, trying to keep clump texture. If you stir too often and aggressively, the granola will be more granular. Let cool. If you want to serve it quickly, cool them outside if you can. As they cool, break up big clumps with your hand and over the granola around gently.
Once cooled, pour granola in an air tight container. Mix in the dried fruit and enjoy!