Maple Coconut Granola
Have you ever wondered why your homemade granola doesn’t give you joy? Why you don’t eagerly look forward to throwing it into your yogurt every morning? I am willing to wager that it’s because you made it too complicated. And you didn’t use enough coconut. Coconut is the surprising key to everything.
This granola just fills me with nostalgia. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but it just brings me back to the afternoons I spent at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because there was always a chocolate chip Chewy bar waiting for me when I walked in the door after school…maybe it’s just because my grandparents were and are awesome, and so is this granola. I eat a cluster almost every time I walk by the container. And I have to admit that I am so greedy for this granola that I hide it from my preschooler. Sshh. Don’t tell.
I made granola a few years ago, and I got all excited about it. But…I’m going to be honest with you. I have only made that multigrain granola once since posting about it, because it requires so many ingredients and it just seems to have too much going on. This granola, on the other hand, is so simple I can still hardly believe it.
The first time I decided to make this granola, I was delighted to realize I already had all the ingredients in my pantry. Then I was even more delighted to realize it would only take me 2 minutes of measuring before I could stick it in the oven and ignore it. And at the end, the granola was so tasty I have simply vowed never to buy granola again.
Before you ask, sure you can customize it. You can add raisins or change the nuts, you can substitute a different grain or seed for millet (try quinoa!). But whatever you do, keep the maple and coconut combo! You’ll thank me later.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup (obviously we are talking about pure maple here, not Aunt Jemima), coconut oil, and vanilla. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, long enough that the coconut oil beings to melt. Stir until completely melted.
Dump the granola mixture onto a large, lined cookie sheet. You could use a Silpat, parchment, or even the dull side of a sheet of foil, whatever suits you. Spread the granola out to the edges of the cookie sheet, pressing it together lightly.
Let the granola cool completely, then grab the liner and gently start to peel it up from the bottom of the pan. The granola will naturally crumble into chunks and shards. I also found that the millet/quinoa/amaranth doesn’t cling well to the rest of the mixture, and a lot of it will sort of pool below the oaty chunks. That’s okay; I generally toss out a small palmful of “extra” millet, because those grains by themselves tend to feel quite crunchy and sort of out of place.
Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Or, in my case, a few days. Yum.
I love to serve this granola stirred into my new favorite high-fat Greek yogurt with a tiny drizzle of honey and a teaspoon or so of chia seeds for a filling breakfast. I also love to eat it out of the jar. Just saying.
Maple Coconut Granola
barely adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen
makes about 4 cups
2 cups rolled oats*
⅓ cup dry millet or quinoa
¾ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1½ cups sliced almonds
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3– tbsp. melted coconut oil
Preheat oven to 300°. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
Toss together quinoa, oats, coconut, almonds, and salt.
In a small measuring cup, stir together maple syrup, vanilla, and oil. Mix into the grains.
Spread the granola mixture in a thin layer on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 40 minutes, until browned and crisp.
Cool completely in the pan. When completely cool, peel up the parchment to break the granola into shards and chunks.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
*Note: Oats are typically not considered gluten free, but should not present any problems for those merely avoiding wheat. If you are a celiac, please be sure to buy gluten-free oats!