Coconut and Apricot Granola

Granola should come with a user-warning about how highly addictive a food it is.  I love it alone as an afternoon snack, for breakfast along with some warmed non-dairy milk, for dessert with fresh fruit and yogurt or ice cream and as a baking ingredient added to cookies, cakes and crumbles in place of regular rolled oats.

Downside, commercial granolas are usually loaded full of oil and sugar – hence instructions for making it at home.  Not to say that the home-made variety is exempt of fat and sweetener, it wouldn’t be granola or make yummy clusters without them, but it has a more reasonable amount overall than a box off the grocery store shelf.  As a result I can feed it to my son without expecting sugar-rush mood-swing action.

That brings us to the next point; you may look at the recipe and think there are a whole lot of ingredients.  There are.  That’s what happens when you cook with a 3 year old.  A young child is very good at scooping, dumping and mixing.  Making this granola was a platform for repeating those three activities multiple times.  It is worth using the multitude of ingredients if you have them though as they provide wonderful texture and a multi-layered taste that just won’t happen otherwise.

The recipe yields 10 generous cups

What you need :

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup barley flakes (or more rolled oats)
  • 1 cup spelt flakes (or more rolled oats)
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ (if tolerated)
  • 1 cup unsalted, dry-roasted coconut chips (or flaked coconut, but chips preferred)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, fine shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (unhulled preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground lavender flowers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped unsulphured dried apricots

What you do :

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large (11’’x17’’) pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the seeds, coconut, rolled oats, wheat germ, barley and spelt flakes and all the spices.
  3. Add the syrups and coconut oil to the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the mixture of oil and sweetener. This will likely take a few minutes and a bit of elbow grease.
  4. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the pan and cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during the baking period.
  5. Remove from the oven and add the chopped apricots, mixing well.
  6. Let cool completely and then break apart and eat some, storing the remainder in air-tight containers.

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