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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Maple-Coconut Granola

 


Now, I realize this isn't a particularly exciting post for many of you. I mean this blog is called Baking the Book, for god's sake. And the past few recipes haven't even really been baking either, though the ice creams aren't exactly something to turn your nose up at. But let me explain myself before you click back to more...well...exciting food porn.

If you've been reading for a while, you'll probably already know that indulgent food is one of my greatest vices. When something delicious is placed in front of me, all willpower I may have once possessed (though realistically, I'm not sure I had much to begin with) disappears as quickly as the salted caramel brownies or oatmeal cookies before me. So, on occasion, when I head into the kitchen, I like to pretend to be a bit more virtuous.



Instead of delving straight into a recipe for a black forest gateaux or a cheesy pull-apart bread, I test my abilities, hoping to create something that is both irresistible and marginally less artery-clogging. A tall order, if you ask me. Despite the arduous journey to virtuosity and deliciousness, I finally landed on a recipe that ticks every box you could hope for. Enter Maple-Coconut Granola.

Like many granola recipes out there nowadays, this one uses olive oil as the fat. It tones down the sweetness and gives the granola a full-bodied robustness that's just what I want in the morning. Or the afternoon. Or at midnight. The maple syrup is a little bit funkier than honey or brown sugar and just so happens to be (sort of) good for you. You can obviously use any nuts you like, but I've found that the combination of macadamia nuts and pistachios strikes the right balance between rich and buttery and salty-crunchy. So, if you ever considered taking my advice, now is most definitely the time.



Maple-Coconut Granola

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups unsweetened thick coconut chips (these have a nice heft in the granola that shredded coconut won't give you)
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups shelled, salted pistachios
1 cup dark amber maple syrup
2/3 cup olive oil
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together oats, coconut chips, macadamia nuts, and pistachios. In a measuring cup, stir together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Make a well in the oat mixture and pour maple syrup mixture in. Fold until all dry ingredients have been coated. Spread mixture evenly over prepared roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container- it will keep for up to a week, though it certainly won't last that long



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