A crunchy granola, made with 5 grain rolled oats, toasted coconut, dried apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pecans. An easy, delicious recipe, adapted from The SOBO Cookbook, a granola that’s both substantial and healthy.
Physical activity has always played a significant role in my life. I started with ballet when I was just a little kid and never stopped since, passing from ballet to modern dance, aerobics, step, spinning, weight training, running, aikido, bellydancing, aquacise, and these past years choosing yoga and jazzercise. Some of them I practiced for many years, others were just fads, when I discovered they were not in my chords, but after all, the important thing was that I was always exercising. Three to four days a week, that is my average workout. I do believe in the power of exercise, for the body and the mind. Together with having a balanced diet.
What works best for me is having multiple small meals during the day, 5 to be precise: breakfast, mid morning snack, light lunch, mid afternoon snack and light supper. No big meals for me, no skipping meals to concentrate eating in one or two big feasts. No no. Even during our Italian meals galore, I usually eat small portions of everything (that I like). I try to avoid that “too full feeling”. Breakfast baked goods, like this, and this, and snacks, like this, are as important for me as the main meals.
Granola is my favorite mid morning snack, enjoyed in a bowl with plain yogurt, seasonal fruit and nuts. In this Toasted Coconut Crunchy Granola, I adapted the recipe I found on The SOBO Cookbook, that we bought in Tofino last July, during our little west coast vacation (post coming soon). Before leaving for our holiday, we asked the awesome fellow food bloggers any hints and tips on what to do, see and most of all eat. SOBO Tofino was recommended by far and wide and did meet our expectations. To the point that we bought the cookbook and got it signed by the great chef and author Lisa Ahier. Having a dedication from the chef makes it cooking from it even more special.
After my jazzercise class, or before my yoga class, or when I’m at work as my mid morning snack, I like to indulge in a bowl of plain (sometimes Greek) yogurt, where I add a handful of granola, seasonal fruits, some nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup, or honey, or -what I’m adding lately- a homemade Concorde grape juice. Having a homemade granola makes everything taste so much better. There are times I buy a delightful homemade granola from the Farmers Market, there are other times, I feel like making a quality granola where I can choose all the add-ins, worth the effort.
Crunchy granola made with:
- 5 grain rolled oats
- unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted in the oven
- dried fruits (I chose apricots and raisins this time but I am already thinking of future combinations)
- pecans and pumpkin seeds (as well, lots of options for nuts and seeds)
- good spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
- organic, unrefined, sunflower oil
- maple syrup, corn syrup, or honey (according to preference, disposition and availability in your pantry)
There are few steps in the preparation, but overall it is an easy recipe to follow and the time spent making it very worth the while. The result is a crunchy granola, with a very pleasant flavor where the coconut marries beautifully the spices, nuts, seeds and fruits. Lovely with milk (any kind you like), with yogurt, or straight from the jar where I stored it 😉 . For all of you late night snackers, like you, my dear husband (busted! 😉 ), this is just the perfect thing to satisfy your sweet craving. As for me, I do not usually eat after dinner and before going to bed, but my mind is already rejoicing in anticipation of the forthcoming breakfast.
Whether for breakfast, or as a topper to your yogurt, or even that midnight snack, your mind will be at ease knowing that you have a jar of this delicious Toasted Coconut Crunchy Granola in your pantry. Healthy end to that somewhat dangerous craving.
Song of the day: Try Everything, by Shakira (you might recognize the song as the soundtrack of Zootopia 😉 ).
Adapted on a recipe found on "The SOBO Cookbook".
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup pecans and pumpkin seeds mixed (or other nuts and seeds you like)
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup corn syrup or maple syrup
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp bourbon vanilla powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup mixed dried apricots, golden raisins (or dates, goji berries)
- Preheat the oven to 325° F.
- Spread the rolled oats on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes.
- On a separate baking sheet, toast the shredded coconut for no more than 5 minutes (check often, don't let it brown).
- Remove both baking sheets from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Turn down the oven to 200° F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, oil, corn or maple syrup, cspices and salt until well combined.
- Spread out on a cookie sheet (I used the same one) and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, about 30 minutes. This will allow the granola to clump together.
- Once cooled, transfer to a large bowl, breaking up the bigger pieces.
- Add the toasted coconut and dried fruit, tossing well to combine.
Experiment with different flavor combinations. If you don't like coconut add more dried fruit, seeds or nuts. This crunchy granola can be stored in a tightly sealed container (I put it in a mason jar) for up to 2 weeks.
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