Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cocoa-Coconut Granola

I made this granola about a month ago, and for some reason I never got around to posting about it until now. It's not because I forgot all about the granola; in fact, I eat a bit of it every other day for breakfast. I stir it into a bowl of cereal, and it really gives the cereal some heft. Whole grains, sweet coconut, and a nutty crunch combine to provide energy to your morning and a great balance to your daily first meal. Add a serving of fruit and a cup of coffee to the cereal/granola combo, and you've got it made!

I love this twist on the traditional granola because it adds a kiss of cocoa flavor, warm spices (in the form of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom), and sticky-sweet agave nectar to the more tired formula. It creates a unique granola, one that I've become hooked on and have looked forward to every single time I've had it. And, this being my first time making granola, I've been very pleasantly surprised with 1) the sheer simplicity of making this myself, and 2) how well it keeps! I've had this stuff in an airtight container for the past month, and it's still perfect! It doesn't require refrigeration; all the ingredients, for the most part, are pantry staples. I couldn't have been happier to discover yet another grocery-store purchase item that I can now conveniently make in my own kitchen. I defy you to find a box in the cereal aisle of granola that tastes as good as this!

Cocoa-Coconut Granola
adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
makes 3.5-4 cups granola (I cut the original recipe in half)

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, shelled and roasted
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Large pinch each ground nutmeg and cardamom
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 Tbsp. honey
6 Tbsp. applesauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (from cocoa powder through brown sugar).

2. In a small saucepan, combine the agave nectar, honey, applesauce, and olive oil. Warm the ingredients just until the mixture is extra runny; pour over dry ingredients. Mix until everything is coated in the wet ingredients.

3. Pour the mixture into a large glass baking dish (or several cookie sheets that have sides) and spread evenly in a single layer. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, removing from the oven every 15 minutes to stir the mixture. Once the mixture has almost completely dried out, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Mine has kept for about 4 weeks now, and it's still just as great now as it was the day I made it!

No comments:

Post a Comment