Cool weather. Hot oven. When the weather begins to drop and it officially feels like fall, or as much as it can in Los Angeles, I turn on my oven and begin to bake. Cookies, cupcakes, breads, no one can stop me! It took some time, but I am finally a confident vegan baker, understanding what is needed and definitely what is not. But, since it’s just the beginning of the season, let’s start with baking something simple–granola. I have always loved granola, but am not fond of the fat and sugar that is usually contained in store-bought varieties. The wonderful things about granola are the clusters, crunch, and chew along with the variety of textures. So, instead of the bad stuff this granola recipe contains alternatives to the traditional granola your hippie-mom made, so you won’t feel guilty pouring it into your breakfast bowl.
This version has a secret weapon–flaked coconut. Have you ever baked flaked coconut? It’s so special–light and scrumptious. No wonder the coconut bacon craze has exploded! There are also pistachios and sunflower seeds nestled in the clusters, which give the granola a certain “meatiness” but don’t add too much fat. I also use my favorite fat of all–coconut oil–and my favorite non-sugar sweetener–pure maple syrup. Everything Fall needs maple syrup. The beauty of making granola is that you can put almost anything in it. Just follow the proportion guidelines, and you’ll be just fine. Personally I love dried apricots, but I’ve also added dried apples, which was delightful in its own way. You might like a walnut/apple mix, raisin/almond mix, or something more creative. That is why I love granola! Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what everyone chooses for his or her own mix? Cozy up people–it’s Fall.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/2 cup sunflowers seeds
- 1/2 cup shaved coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dried apricots-chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, sunflower seeds, shaved coconut, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, and pour onto a prepared baking sheet, smoothing the granola into a single layer with a spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp.
- When cool, stir in the chopped apricot bits and serve over coconut yogurt or just in a bowl with your favorite non-dairy milk.