My go-to granola recipe for the past year has been Heidi Swanson’s coconut and orange zest-kissed version that appears in her latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I’ve made this recipe so many times I have it memorized. Better yet, I make it often enough that I know what to tweak and what to let be. I’ve been dying to do an orange-cocoa version, but alas, I was out of oranges last night when the urge to make granola struck. I already had the coconut oil melting on the range, or chances are I would have waited 24 hours to make this and picked up some citrus at the market. Instead, I tweaked the recipe yet again.
The granola I made last night is studded with dried cranberries. Just about any dried fruit would do in this recipe, as long as the pieces are no larger than, say, a raisin. Crystallized ginger would make for a more decadent treat. You could also chop up a good quality chocolate bar, or better yet, some raw cacao nibs. If you choose to do so, wait to stir in the chocolate or cacao nibs once the granola has completely cooled.
Granola is one of my favorite ways to use up the pulp from my oat-nut alt milks. You can certainly substitute raw, chopped nuts; alternate instructions are included in the recipe that follows.
scant 1/4 cup coconut oil, unrefined
1/2 cup maple syrup, Grade B
4 cups rolled [gf] oats
1 batch oat-nut alt milk pulp OR 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped to raisin-sized pieces if necessary)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine coconut oil and maple syrup over low heat until just melted. Stir well and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine oats, nut pulp/nuts, coconut, cocoa and salt and stir well to blend. Pour in the coconut oil-maple syrup mixture and stir again to combine. Add the dried fruit and turbinado sugar, and stir once more.
Spread the granola mixture out evenly in the rimmed baking sheet; it will be at least a couple of inches thick. Bake for 45 minutes**, or until golden, stirring every 10-15 minutes to ensure it cooks evenly.
**If using nuts rather than nut pulp, your granola will be drier. Reduce baking time to 25-30 minutes.