rise & shine granola: crunch, coconut, NOM

I’m a big granola lover, but I hate the funky ingredients included in many processed, pre-made granola blends. Too many of them have artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and other junk that I’m not interested in consuming.

So, I basically avoided granola until a friend shared a homemade granola recipe that I immediately embraced: it’s simple, inexpensive, and crazy delicious. Over the years, the recipe has evolved to become a Five Element Farm staple and a favorite of visiting guests.

Rise & Shine Organic Granola

Ingredients

dry-ingredientsDry Ingredients:

  • 6 cups organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup organic sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, preferably organic (We like to combine both large and small flake coconut)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic whole almonds
  • 1 1/2 T ground organic cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup organic honey
  • 2/3 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract

Add-Ins:

  • Dried fruit* (such as apricots, dates, figs, cherries, cranberries, etc.), diced or finely chopped, amount to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan or heatproof container until just melted; remove from heat.

In an enormous bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. 

In a smaller bowl, combine all wet ingredients, including coconut oil, until well mixed.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and stir/mix well. (I actually coat my clean hands with cooking oil and just mix/squish/blend everything together with my hands.)

granola-for-ovenSpread in a thin layer on multiple shallow baking sheets. (I use two cookie sheets to make this recipe with both in the oven at one time.)

Bake at 300º until lightly browned (approximately one hour), stirring every 20 minutes or so.

Cool in pans for 20 minutes. Crumble, separate, and allow to cool completely in a large, clean bowl.

Add chopped, dried fruit once cooled; stir to combine.

Store in a large, tightly sealed container. It will keep for several months, though ours never lasts that long…

Enjoy your Rise & Shine granola for breakfast with yogurt, kefir, dairy or almond milk

granola-breakfastAdd sliced fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey or agave syrup if you like.

Add chocolate or carob chips, peanuts, and raisins for a delicious trail mix blend.

Sprinkle as a crumble on top of fresh fruit salads or ice cream for dessert.

Or just eat unapologetically from the container by the handful like my beloved does…

*HINT* I make enough granola that I eventually got sick of dicing all the sticky fruits into tiny, squishy pieces that just end up clumped together. I now buy a dried fruit mix designed for fruitcake from King Arthur Flour. Their mix has raisins, pineapple, currants, cranberries, and dates diced into itty-bitty little pieces that are dusted with confectioner’s sugar so they don’t stick together. It’s not certified organic, but it is a tremendous timesaver… I can’t recommend the mix highly enough if, like me, you’re easily annoyed when dicing sticky foods. One 20 oz. bag of the Fruitcake Fruit Blend is perfect for this recipe.

Bless and blessed be!

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