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Coconut Lovers Granola

February 2, 2012

I’ve counted coconut among my favorite things since long before I even knew how to count. I’ll take it unsweetened right out of the shell, sweetened right out of the bag, toasted to a golden brown, in sauces or cocktails, and especially in cookies, cakes and other confections.

Lately, coconut has even been touted as a super food, so for the past couple of months I’ve been adding a little coconut oil to my diet on a daily basis with tasty results.

This granola recipe is a prime example. I’ve been making granola for a few years now, and the recipe definitely has evolved and improved over time. But somehow, adding coconut oil has made the biggest difference yet – not only in flavor, but also in texture. It’s even crunchier and chunkier than ever.

This recipe makes A LOT of granola: about 4 gallon sized bags worth, so it’s great to share. And best of all, it’s simple and healthy!

You’ll Need:

1 canister of Quaker regular oats

1 can of steel cut oats

4 cups roughly chopped nuts (I prefer a mix of pecans and walnuts, but use what you love)

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

½ cup water

1 ½ cups brown sugar

4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

2 Tbs coconut oil

24 oz mixed dried fruit (I like to use a mix of cherries, blueberries, and mixed berries, and find that Trader Joes offers the best selection. But use what you can find and what you love; just make sure the pieces are small.)

2 large bowls

1 medium sized microwave safe bowl

2 baking sheets lined with parchment or Silpats

4 gallon sized ziplock bags

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 275.

2. Between the 2 large bowls, evenly divide the regular oats, steel cut oats, nuts and coconut. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients more or less evenly throughout.

3. In the microwave safe bowl combine the water, sugar, salt, vanilla and coconut oil and microwave about 2 minutes, until the sugar and coconut oil are melted. Stir well.

4. While stirring the sugar liquid as you pour, evenly divide it between the 2 large bowls of oats. Then give each bowl a good stir with a wooden spoon to ensure that everything is coated and wet.

5. Pour out the contents of each bowl onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Make sure it’s evenly distributed on the pan, then press down on it firmly with the palm of your hand so it’s one large compressed mass.

6. Bake for approximately 75 – 90 minutes, until everything is very nicely browned.

7. Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely in the pan, until it hardens.

8. Once it’s completely cooled, break it off into chunks, and distribute the chunks evenly among the 4 gallon sized ziplock bags.

9. Then just add the dried fruit, distributing it evenly among the bags, and using your hand to gently mix it in.

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From → Baking

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