Vanilla Coconut Snacking Granola
My yoga friend Sue went to Mexico last month. When she came back, all she could talk about was this wonderful granola that she had in Mexico … she brought back several jars of it and told us how she and her husband would munch on it like snack mix. It’s not sweet, she said, as she described what was in it. She told me about the wonderful toasted flavor and the nuts and raisins and these little green things (which we figured out were pepitas) and coconut and she said, “I don’t even LIKE coconut!”. I told her toasted coconut is something entirely different. (It is!)
She said she was saving some of this magical granola for me so I could figure out the recipe for how to make it, but her husband was eating it like chex mix, just tossing handfuls of it in his mouth and she was worried they would run out before she could get me any. I told her to save away a little container of it and bring it to work with her (so it was hidden away!) and I would pick it up there. She did that, but we forgot about it a couple times when I was there at her store … finally we connected and I got the little sample of granola. There wasn’t much left, so I took care in taking tastes of it, trying to figure out what was in it.
The striking thing about this granola is it’s not as sweet as most granola, and the heavy spices that you associate with granola were totally absent. It had a light, toasted taste, with just a hint of sweet. Just perfect for a snacking granola. It rattled the cages of my beliefs about granola. I had never imagined a granola without cinnamon and spices and lots of sweetness. But here this little sample from Mexico came along, defying my very paradigm of granola.
Well, I knew it couldn’t be THAT different from my other granola recipes, so I looked back at them, for reference, but I knew I had to avoid the sticky sweet and often fruity mixtures I normally use, but what to replace it with? The granola clearly had a mixture of SOMETHING stuck to it and it wasn’t all that sweet. Then it came to me … coconut oil! Of course. (Actually, I considered that it was perhaps almond oil or walnut oil, but I had coconut oil on hand, and since it’s delicious and it is SO good for you, I decided I had to use coconut oil.)
But is there a sweetener? I tasted it again … yes, there was just a hint of sweetness. I thought perhaps (being Mexico) they used Agave or something like that. I opted for a bit of local honey, just a smidge, and of course, some of my Mexican vanilla because that totally makes everything it touches taste better. And it’s Mexican. I imagined the people in Mexico concocting their granola in the sunny heat and tossing in their favorite locally made vanilla. It almost made life seem a little warmer as I was concocting my granola (or perhaps that was my imagination and it was the oven that was making things warmer in my kitchen).
Ah well, here it is: the magical Mexican snacking granola. I do have to say, I saved a bit of the original to compare it to and it is pretty dang close to the original. It is marvelous because it goes oh-so-perfectly with just about any flavor of yogurt you can imagine. I had it in my key lime Greek yogurt this morning and it was PERFECT! I could shout that from the hilltops, now, having discovered the magic of Sue’s Mexican granola.
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- Preheat the oven to 275 F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pecans, pepitas, and almond slices.
- In a separate small bowl, add the coconut oil (it will be solid at room temperature), honey and vanilla. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir to finish melting the coconut oil. Stir in the salt. If the coconut oil still isn't melted, microwave just a little longer and stir again to mix and melt away any chunks.
- Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture in the big bowl and stir to coat all the oats and nuts in the oil mixture.
- Pour the granola into a large flat jelly roll pan with a lip and smooth it out so it's one even layer. Roast in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is golden brown and nicely toasted. (I roasted it for 1 hour 45 minutes.)
- Sprinkle the raisins over top and stir a bit to mix them into the mixture. Store in an airtight container.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Munching Monday, Simple Supper Tuesday, Treasure Box Tuesday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Foodie FriDIY, Retro Re-Pin Party, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday, PureBlogLove and Hearth & Soul Bloghop.