I have tried a handful of granola recipes over the years. My main frustration with them was the requirement to stir a handful of times during the baking process. Plus when out in the Caribbean heating up the oven & kitchen with opening/closing the oven door was not high on my list of things that I wanted to do. For a while I used a recipe I found online that used a crock pot, but it also required stirring, although it did not heat up the kitchen.
Then I found an amazing recipe on The Pioneer Woman website. It was on a section that she no longer has, but it had a variety of recipes from other websites. The recipe I found was from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and over time I have changed it up a little to be more consistent with what we like. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/coconut-and-cashew-granola/ My version is pretty close, but I make a larger amount and use a combination of cashews and walnuts as that is our preference for nuts. I also added cinnamon to the recipe because we like it.
Pictured here are most of the ingredients that I use in this recipe. As you can see from a few of the labels I shop at Costco! Honestly the price of some of the ingredients, such as pure real maple syrup, is so expensive at the grocery stores that it makes more economical sense to purchase the larger sizes at Costco. (Just a reminder. Once you have taken the seal off the maple syrup you can no longer store it in your pantry. It has to be refrigerated. I found this out the hard way when it grew mold. 🙁 )
Because of the temperature in the house, the coconut oil was not completely liquid and since the maple syrup had been opened and stored in the frig, I measured them out into a small saucepan and warmed it up until the coconut oil was in a complete liquid state. While living out in the Caribbean this was a step that I did not have to do. 🙂
Prepping the ingredients is not difficult; I chop up the nuts on a cutting board before adding them in with the coconut, oatmeal and cinnamon. All the ingredients get mixed together to make sure all the yummy liquids are incorporated into the dry ingredients. Once that is completed, I just dump the mixture on the two cookie sheets. It is really a very quick prep process with the oven doing the time-consuming work. 🙂
Another benefit of baking this granola is that the house gets the most wonderful aroma in it! Maple syrup heating in the oven, along with the cinnamon is wonderful! All-natural air freshener! Bonus!
And here is an example of how I eat the granola–on top of Greek yogurt!
So next time you have a craving for granola, why not give this recipe a try?