What an underrated baked good! I mean, seriously. It’s really easy to make, cheaper than store-bought, completely customizable, and it’s good for you!
I eat yogurt and granola every morning for breakfast so I am well-aware of its wonders. I’ve been making my own granola for a few years now and have developed a pretty standard go-to recipe, but sometimes you need to switch it up a little bit, so yesterday I was inspired to add a tropical twist. I switched out my usual mix-ins for macadamia nuts, dried mangoes, and coconut flakes.
This was my first cooking endeavor on crutches and it actually went surprisingly well! I’m only 5 days into my 5 weeks on crutches–5 weeks of no weight on my right leg while I wait for my stress fracture to heal–but crutching seems to get a little easier every day, and I’m hoping these weeks fly by.
No matter how well I adapt to these crutches, I did realize that Junior’s activity level wouldn’t mesh with them. But, that didn’t stop me from trying to keep up with him!
He’s now happily making himself at home in the snow at my parents’ house. He is part husky so LOVES the snow, and apparently he just refuses to come inside.
I’m glad my parents are able to take care of my furry pup, but definitely miss his presence at home. I’m making some dog treats (I’ll post some recipes on the blog!) and a few other things and am excited to send him a pooch care package in the next few days!
But, while he’s gone, I’m supposed to be focusing on my health, doing everything I can to speed up my leg’s healing process!
So, we’ll get back to the granola–the recipe is quick, easy, and makes a granola with big, chunky clusters. It’s perfect for topping yogurt, eating with milk, or just snacking on during the day. It’s also sugar-free, so keeps your breakfast healthy and delicious! Also, it’s completely customizable; if you like pecans and dried cherries better than macadamia nuts and mangoes, use those instead! I typically use almonds, dried cranberries, and dried apricots in my granola, but this one has a nice tropical flare (it’s a little bit of sunshine in a grey Seattle winter!).
makes about 5 cups
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/2 cup dried mango (unsweetened, if you can find it*), roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened, if you can find it*)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Combine the coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and heat until the coconut oil is fully melted and combined with the honey. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated. Spread the granola in an even layer on the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top of the granola when it has about 3-5 minutes of cook time remaining. Remove the granola from the oven when you can smell the nuts and the edges are beginning to brown. Sprinkle the mango and cranberries on top of the granola, give it a quick stir to combine everything and let it sit until it cools (don’t stir it again–you won’t end up with nice chunks!). After the granola has cooled, transfer it to an air-tight container.
*It can be really difficult to find unsweetened cranberries. If you can’t find them, you can usually find at least a low-sugar version that has been sweetened with apple or grape juice. Unsweetened mangoes can be found a little more easily and are carried at most Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods stores.