Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

Anyone who knows me knows of my love for breakfast. Rare is the day that I don't eat something shortly after I wake up. For the longest time the sole contributor to my breakfast menu was cereal. There were only two things that would make me go to the store when I wasn't already planning on it - milk and cereal. Over the last few months though, I have ventured out and tried new things. So much so, in fact, that I don't remember the last time I ate cereal for breakfast. And, an even bigger shocker, I am sad when that is my only option.

One thing that I have grown to love is yogurt and granola. For a while I bought plain granola and ate it with various flavors of Yoplait, but then I saw this post on Annie's Eats and knew that I would have to eventually try it. Try it (and tweak it a bit to my liking) I did and from that point on I have eaten it with plain or vanilla yogurt. I am planning on branching out and trying new kinds of granola as well to mix it up a bit.

Healthy: check.
Easy: check.
Yummy: double check.

Yield: about 14 cups

2 cups shredded coconut
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup almonds, chopped
6 cups rolled oats
6 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup honey
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional - I opted not to use it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups dried cranberries
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan and set aside. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut to the skillet in an even layer and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a bowl and return the pan to the heat, adding the chopped walnuts and almonds. Cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Stir in the oats and melted coconut oil and continue cooking until the oats are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl and stir in the honey, ground flax seed (if you opt to use it), cinnamon, and salt. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, stirring every few minutes about 15 minutes, until the granola is light golden brown.

Stir in the toasted coconut and dried cherries. Press the granola into a thick slab and allow to cool to room temperature. Break the dried and cooled granola into small clusters and mix in the chopped chocolate. Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

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