I don’t know when it happened, but Granola has become a pantry staple with almost everyone I know. It is one of my favorite things to make because it usually satisfies my craving to bake with minimal clean-up. Unlike a lot of baking where measurements are critical to a successful outcome, I love that I can shuffle around ingredients and quantities, and it always turns out great. Like trail mix, after making it myself for the first time, I can never go back to buying it from the store. I have a go-to recipe that I usually replenish on a weekly basis, but this morning I was in the mood for something a little different.
Not being a huge fan of dried fruit, I kept my usual nuts and seeds and added some coconut. I also used almond extract in exchange for my usual vanilla. My favorite part of the granola is the different textures. I like to use both slivered and sliced almonds, making the granola that much more interesting. This particular recipe takes a little more patience than my usual one; It slowly bakes in the oven for 2 hours at a low temperature. The granola is just slightly sweet, but it is easy to sweeten more or less based on your taste preference for sweetness.
There is something special about mornings… the quiet in the house and sleepy feeling in the air. While I often choose to sleep in on the weekends, there is something about getting up early to take advantage of the stillness.
With the jar of granola sitting on the counter and the aroma still strong in the air, I can’t help but think of the magic of granola; Each individual ingredient is delicious on its own, but once you combine them all you get something even better. Aristotle said it best: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Cinnamon Almond Granola
2 cups Rolled Oats (Gluten Free if needed)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/4 cup Raw Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup Raw Slivered Almonds
1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Raw Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 250’F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, and almond extract and pour over the dry ingredients, stirring well to coat evenly. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 2 hours, until golden and dry.
Remove granola from the oven, and allow to fully cool, before using a spatula to release and break up the granola.