A few months ago, as I was browsing the aisles of a gourmet food shop I discovered coconut sap sitting on the shelf in the baking section. I was so intrigued by it, I brought a bag home with me. Since then, I’ve begun to use the sap in baking and I’m really loving the results. The sap sugar smells like caramelized brown sugar but it’s actually much better for you.
Another ingredient I’ve become seriously devoted to is coconut oil. I bought my first jar of organic coconut oil last year and since then, I’ve been using it more and more frequently in baking and frying. I’m hooked on the subtle coconut smell, its cooking abilities AND its health attributes.
Armed with my collection of coconut ingredients, I decided to make some homemade granola this weekend. Making granola is not a new endeavor for me but it is one that has gone by the wayside over the past few years. Blame it on laziness, or never having all the required ingredients on hand. Suffice to say, I’m glad I made this granola because the results are definitely worth it. It smells incredibly good, so I’m frequently opening up the mason jar just to inhale its splendid coconut aroma.
I also added some chia seeds and buckwheat groats because I had some on hand but you can skip that part if you like. Or perhaps you can add some flax seeds or flax meal instead.
Finally, if you really want to further amp up the coconut factor, adding a teaspoon of coconut extract to your granola will certainly be a good choice. Just add the extract to the oil and honey mixture before warming everything on the stove.
triple coconut granola (makes approx. 7 – 8 cups of granola)
6 cups organic rolled oats
1/2 cup each of raw unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut sap (sugar)
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp salt
option #1: 1 tsp coconut extract
option #2: 1/4 cup chia seeds, buckwheat groats, flax seeds/meal
1) Preheat oven to 325F. Place the oats into a large bowl. Add the nuts, cranberries, shredded coconut and cinnamon. Stir well.
2) In a small saucepan heat the oil, honey, sugar and salt (and extract – if using). Keep stirring and allow liquid to come to a light boil. Remove from heat.
3) Pour the honey/oil mixture over the oats. Stir the entire contents of the bowl until everything is incorporated and the honey has coated all the ingredients.
4) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Add about a cup or so of granola mixture to each baking sheet and spread around evenly. Place baking sheets on the middle rack in the oven for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. My oven burns fast so I need to keep a constant watch on the granola. Also, at half time, grab a spoon and move the granola around a bit to redistribute. Return to oven for remainder of the time.
5) When time is up, remove your baking sheets and allow the granola to sit for 10 minutes to cool off. (Be reminded that the tray is hot and your granola will continue to cook so it’s always a good idea to monitor your cooking time when it’s in the oven. Perhaps slightly under baking the granola in the oven will allow for it to reach the perfect colour and doneness as it sits for 10 minutes on the stove top.)
4) After 10 minutes, empty the granola onto a cold tray / baking sheet / large bowl for further cooling down. Once the granola is completely cool, you can transfer it to your mason jar. Sometimes the granola likes to clump up so you can break apart the larger pieces before storing the granola in the jar.
5) Continue with this process until all your granola is all baked.