Saturday, March 28, 2020

Strawberry Coconut Granola

I decided to make strawberry coconut granola from the Minimalist Baker because, in addition to looking tasty, it called for an ingredient I’d never thought to use in granola before: freeze-dried fruit. This was great! I had some on hand because I tried giving it to my kids as a snack, and they liked it. I used strawberries, as the recipe suggested, but this would also be a great use for freeze-dried bananas! I can’t eat banana chips anymore because I find them much too hard, but freeze-dried bananas have a much more pleasant consistency. I changed the recipe a bit to suit my taste and baked it at a lower temperature; the quantities below are mine.

3 cups rolled oats
1 ¾ cups raw nuts, roughly chopped (I like pecans and almonds)
4 Tbsp. coconut sugar (I used coarse maple sugar; brown sugar or muscovado would also do)
1 pinch sea salt
6 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
¾ cup unsweetened large flake or desiccated coconut (i.e., coconut chips)
1.2 oz. unsweetened freeze-dried strawberries

Preheat oven to 300 °F. Spray a roasting pan (or a large baking sheet or two) with non-stick spray.

Add oats, nuts, coconut sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

To a small saucepan, add coconut oil and maple syrup. Warm over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking frequently until the two are totally combined and there is no visible separation.

Immediately pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine until all oats and nuts are thoroughly coated. Arrange on the roasting pan and spread into an even layer

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Then remove from oven, add coconut, and stir/toss the granola again. Bake 5-8 minutes more. Watch carefully as to not burn, especially the coconut. You'll know it's done when the granola is deep golden brown and very fragrant.

Let cool completely before adding the strawberries. Toss to combine. I like to eat it with lactose-free milk or yogurt for breakfast, but you could also add sliced bananas, or use it as an ice cream topping.

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