25 Jul Tart Cherry & Coconut Granola
I may have already mentioned this a bazillion times this week, but guys! TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY!!! TOMORROW MISS LONGBOTTOM TIES THE KNOT!!!
Things are looking good around here:
That giant red spot that was maybe sunburn, maybe a pimple? Gone — chased away with an aggressive combo of aloe vera and Queen Helene’s scary, green mask-stuffs.
After several scary day dreams and few night ones too, my bridesmaid dress has been altered, picked up, and it fits! It’s 100 degrees outside so I’m half regretting the lace overlay, but it’s just so damn pretty. (Here it is, in case you’re curious.)
Tonight, ALL of my best gal friends from college will be reunited for the first time in what seems like eons. We’re going to form the most amazing lady hug pile ever and probably get all weepy, maybe while swaying back and forth and singing Celine Dion.
And then there’s what’s going to be the most epic, face-melting wedding of all wedding of all time, ever.
But before we even get to the wedding there are two nights out on the town (one of which was last night and included Fireball shots, cringe), which means lots of party juice and lots of late night tacos followed by more tacos for breakfast, and maybe the need to eat something without so much salt so our toes can fit in our high heels come ceremony time.
This is where granola comes in. You know, for protein and energy and stuff.
This Tart Cherry & Coconut Granola is packed with all the goods. Oats (obvi), dried tart cherries, unsweetened coconut flakes, pepitas and walnuts, bound together with maple syrup & honey and roasted until golden and irresistible. And olive oil. Don’t forget the olive oil — it adds a depth of toasty, nutty flavor that can’t be matched by alternative fats. (I’m looking at you coconut oil*.)
I found this recipe on TheKitch.com (which is an adaptation of Megan Gordon’s Great Granola Every Time) and followed the technique for this granola, adjusting the ingredients to my liking. I’ll never make granola another way again. Follow the recipe exactly, or tweak to include your favorite nuts and fruit – the possibilities are endless!
Time for my mani/pedi!
A few notes about this recipe:
I used both honey and maple syrup in the recipe (because why not?) but could not taste either strongly. Feel free to use either/or as long as it equals 3/4 cups.
If your walnuts are already toasted, wait to add them with the coconuts and cherries at the end of baking to avoid burning them.
For fewer clusters, reduce the liquid sweetener of your choice (honey/maple syrup) to a total of 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp and make sure to stir the granola once it comes out of the oven to prevent it from sticking together as it cools.
If you’re making this granola as a gift or for a special occasion use a good olive oil, otherwise use your everyday brand, both will elevate the flavor more than others.
*While I LOVE olive oil in sweets and highly recommend it’s use in this recipe, you can substitute the oil of your choice.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces (see notes)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the oats, walnuts, pepitas, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Pour the oil-honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir gently until all the ingredients are evenly coated.
- Transfer the granola to the lined baking sheet. Spread it out so it covers the baking sheet evenly. Bake until the granola is deeply golden and smells delicious, 45 to 50 minutes for larger baking sheets, up to an hour for smaller ones. During baking stir the granola every 15 minutes — do not stir more frequently; the granola will still be loose and "wet"-looking even toward the end of baking.
- When you think the granola is almost done, stir in the cherries & coconut and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Once you remove the granola from the oven, do not stir again; it will crisp and solidify into clusters as it cools.
- Once cooled completely, break it into clusters and store in airtight container(s).