You WILL want to eat this tasty Granola!
What is your worst day of the week? For many, it’s Monday! Oh yes, I myself know only too well all about that sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach…. the dreaded Monday morning exam you will be taking in a couple of hours, or the first day of your new job. Jitters! Far from depressing you, I am here to cheer you up! My super tasty, colourful Granola will help you face many of the things life throws at you. If only I had known a Granola like this existed when I was in school, I might have actually enjoyed Sunday nights watching Walt Disney, all the while knowing Monday was just hours away!
Vancouver Island certainly has stunning scenery!
I still pinch myself with disbelief that on a beautiful morning, with coffee cup in hand; I can take a short walk and see this breathtaking view! These photos were taken in March of this year, where a spectacular event was taking place. The herring fish are spawning close to the shore, and the water turns a beautiful tropical turquoise colour. It truly is a sight to behold. Unfortunately, I did not get to capture that dazzling colour, as it doesn’t last for very long, however, I did manage to to hit it right with all the sea gulls gorging themselves with the abundance of eggs in the water. After all that fresh air, I am ready to head home for a bowl of my wonderful cinnamon scented granola. Actually, I just thought how nice it would have been to have made a parfait out of the granola with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt and taken it to that beautiful beach. Next time.
So, what makes my Granola special? It’s packed full of good protein, enough to get you through the morning without your stomach grumbling a half hour later, or feeling faint because of loaded refined sugar. Plus, it’s just nice to know exactly what you are putting into your family’s mouths. Do you read the ingredients labels on food?
I once asked a friend if she read what ingredients were in the foods she bought, and she remarked that she was scared of what she might find, so no she didn’t. As a parent I was always concerned about my family’s nutrition, and tried to start their day off right.
While this Granola has been a favourite of ours for years, I have updated the recipe so now I use coconut oil, and also added raw shelled hemp seeds, which are rich in omegas, and digestible proteins. I tried adding chia seeds once or twice, but there were too many complaints about the tiny seeds; however, feel free to throw in a handful in for extra nutrition. You could say I had gone coconuts with developing this recipe as there are three doses of coconut included; the oil, the coconut palm sugar, which has a low glycemic rating, meaning it’s slowly absorbed in the bloodstream, and shredded coconut, all contributing to its delicious taste and goodness.
In my recipe for Granola, you will also find a secret added protein, one that you will never know is there, but will give the mixture the liquid needed to coat the oats, instead of adding extra oil. What is it you ask? Well, believe it or not it’s egg whites! Makes sense, added protein, less oil, lots of crunch.
It is very easy to make this colourful Granola, and the fun part is that you can customize the recipe to suit your taste. Add dried cherries, or blueberries, apricots, dates. Hate dates like my kids did? Leave them out, but I’m sure you get the point; it’s your Granola you get to decide! I find it best though to add the raisins, apricots, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds ( pepitas) after the Granola has been taken out of the oven, otherwise the fruit gets too overcooked and hard. Immediately after it comes out of the oven, dump the Granola into a large bowl and add the dried fruit, and pumpkin seeds while it is still warm.
This tasty Granola is perfect for my family, especially on a busy week day morning when my guys are rushing around getting ready for work. If I didn’t have the jar of Granola sitting out on the counter, they might just skip breakfast and head out the door. Even though my “little guys” are all grown up, I still feel great knowing they have had a good healthy start to the day. In other words being a mom never ends! Usually half way through eating his Granola, you will hear my hubby say: “ Wow, this is so good!” You know it really doesn’t take very long to make something nutritious for your family, so go ahead, get cracking and make their day!
The next photo shows the pre-baked Granola just before I place it in the oven.
See for yourself if this isn’t the best Granola! Serve it with some Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup! Yum!
- Dry Ingredients:
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup chopped unbleached natural almonds (walnuts, pecans, etc. can be substituted)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
- ½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup palm sugar or if you can't find it brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla ( I like to use vanilla bean paste)
- ¼ cup egg whites (whites from 2 eggs)
- Ingredients added after baking:
- ½ cup raisins (I used a combination of light and dark)
- ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries or dried cherries
- ¼ cup chopped apricots or dates (optional)
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Preheat oven to 300 F. degrees.
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add oats, nuts, hemp, flax, shredded coconut, palm sugar, salt, cinnamon. Pour the melted coconut oil over mixture and blend in well. In a small bowl, mix together the vanilla, maple syrup, and egg whites. Mix into other ingredients, until coated well. Do not add raisins and cranberries yet.(the raisins, cranberries, apricots and pumpkin seeds I add after cooking to keep them from getting too hard and burnt). Spread evenly between the two pans.
- Make small circles in pan to separate the granola (see photo); I find this helps with even cooking.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove trays from oven, stir to loosen, place back in oven for 10 minutes; repeat this twice more for a total of 25-30 minutes. Usually 27 or 28 minutes works for me.
- Bake until golden brown, watching closely so it doesn't burn.
- Remove from oven, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the raisins and cranberries.
- Let cool. Store in an air tight container (glass jars work great).
Do you know of someone who has been unwell or just had a new baby? This Granola makes a wonderful gift that is sure to be appreciated!!