Coco Loco Granola

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe anywhere! I guess I’ve made it so many times, it’s just imprinted itself into my brain. But I know my oldest son loves this stuff, so I’m posting it here in hopes that he’ll try making it himself.

Now, you all know about the Big Granola Racket, right? That it’s really super easy to make your own granola, and that the homemade stuff is way better than the stale dusty stuff you get packaged in the stores? Not to mention way cheaper? Well, just in case you haven’t been enlightened yet, here you go…

Granola  is infinitely adaptable. You can substitute other oils (I’ve even heard of folks using a good, fruity olive oil), other sweeteners (honey, brown rice syrup, even corn syrup), and at the end, you can mix in whatever delicious dried fruit you have on hand (but don’t bake it with the fruit, or you’ll have tooth-cracking nuggets of danger lurking in your breakfast).

Coco Loco Granola
recipe by me!
makes about a half-gallon

1 cup coconut oil (warmed in the microwave until liquid)
1 cup maple syrup (the best you can afford; if you keep it in the fridge, warm it up with the oil)
1 T. water (helps emulsify the liquids)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 32 oz. package of Bob’s Red Mill extra-thick rolled oats
2 cups whole almonds (you can chop them if you prefer almond bits but I like ’em whole)
1/4 cup cacao nibs (I love the ones from Spice House)

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Whisk together all the liquids and salt, then stir in the oats, almonds, and nibs. Divide between two large cookie sheets (I use the ones with raised edges, the jelly roll style, with Silpats on them) and bake for about 45 minutes. If you don’t like your granola chunky, stir it every 15 minutes. If you like it clumpier, don’t stir and let it cool in the pan for a while before packing it.

You’ll quickly learn how you prefer your granola… some people prefer it browned and toasted, some like it lighter and chewier. It will harden a bit after it cools. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bags.

For a delicious winter morning treat, pour yourself a bowl of granola, add your favorite milk, and microwave for a minute. Stir and you’ll have the BEST oatmeal ever!

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