I saw this recipe on Jessica Espinoza’s Delicious Obsessions website www.deliciousobsession.com and knew I’d never be able to create anything better! This may be the holy grail of granola! So, Jessica agreed to be a Guest Blog Recipe Contributor.
Jessica Espinoza’s Guest Post:
Making your own granola at home is one of the simplest ways to wean processed cereals out of your kitchen. My husband loves cereal and it is one of his go-to snacks in the evening, however, I will not buy commercial cereal, not even organic, because it is highly processed, refined, and lacks nutrition. In order to keep him happy, however, I needed a substitute and this recipe was born out of that need.
Important note about oats: Oats really don’t provide much nutrition, and are typically avoided my most traditional foodies, especially if they have not been properly soaked. Even though I know people who have done it successfully, I personally have not had much luck soaking and dehydrating my oats. That said, I think that we all have to pick our battles and if making this means a loved one will skip the store bought junk and eat this instead, then that is a victory in my book. If you have problems digesting oats, then you can omit them and just make the cereal grain-free. It would be just as tasty.
Granola with Fruit, Nuts, Chia Seeds and Coconut
- 8 cups old fashioned oats (soaked/dehydrated if possible)
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup walnuts, (soaked/dehydrated if possible)
- 1 cup sliced almonds, (soaked/dehydrated if possible)
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, (soaked/dehydrated if possible)
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, (soaked/dehydrated if possible)
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups coconut oil
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 heaping tbsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and honey together over low heat and whisk until combined. Stir in the vanilla and remove from heat. In a huge bowl (or two large bowls if you don’t have a huge bowl) place the oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and coconut. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the dry mixture and stir to combine. Pour the honey/coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated. Grease some baking sheets (I have to use 3 baking sheets for a full batch) with coconut oil, pour the granola mixture onto a baking sheet, and spread out into a single layer. Bake for one hour, stirring occasionally. You want the granola to be golden brown. The granola will still seem wet when you take it out after an hour, but it dries out and gets crunchy after it sits. Careful not to overcook it, as the dried fruit gets a weird burnt flavor. I learned that the hard way, unfortunately.
Store the cereal in a glass jar in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh and keep the nuts and seeds from going rancid.
Jessica Espinoza created Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to share her love of cooking real, wholesome food with family and friends. Over the last two years, her readership has grown and her motivation comes from helping people make small changes in their diet that all lead to improved health and wellness, all without breaking the bank. Jessica is passionate about real and traditional foods, nutrition, food politics, natural living, yoga, and more.
You can connect with Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Jessica is also a founding member and contributor to the Nourished Living Network and also writes a separate yoga blog called Bright Blue Elephants.