Coconut Granola

When I go for a run in the morning, music is a necessity. I try to pick songs that make me want to dance, which is my way of tricking myself into thinking that this repetitive straight forward motion is akin to dancing and it feels great!

I take playlists seriously. Like really seriously. I intentionally put a totally rad jam on at key time markers – like around 20 minutes in, when I know I’ll be deciding whether to make it a long or short run, I’ll bust out Bootylicious. (I’m going through a 90’s nostalgic phase right now.)

But a lot of the time, good music isn’t enough to keep me occupied for 50-60 minutes. (Ok, 45 minutes.) I need things to think about, figure out and bounce around in my brain.

Some days are inevitably more interesting than others. I’ll plan what I’m going to wear out to dinner that night, try to come up with an idea for a blog post, or suddenly realize that Aretha Franklin is totally my spirit animal…or maybe it’s Hugh Grant when he’s dancing in Love Actually. Can a movie scene of an Englishman dancing be a spirit animal? I mean, why not?

Bam. I just ran 4 miles.

Most of the time I just think about food. What I’m going to cook for dinner today or tomorrow, and what I want for breakfast.

There are few things better than having a good workout behind you and digging into a big bowl of fruit and yogurt with a sprinkling of crunchy, slightly sweet homemade granola. That’s treating yourself right.

I’ve been dreaming about an extra coconutty, honey-sweetened granola for a while now and the other day during a run, I decided that was the day to do it.

I didn’t put any dried fruit in this granola because we’re coming into mango season in Sydney, and that’s pretty much all I want with my oats these days.

But if you’d like to add some dried fruit to yours, mix it in after your granola is baked and cooling. I used both coconut flakes and shredded coconut for extra coconuttiness and flavor…which might be a little obsessive. Feel free to omit one or the other, based on what you have at home.

Make some granola this weekend, you deserve it!

COCONUT GRANOLA

adapted from Two Peas in Their Pod

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey (warmed so that it’s more liquid-like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 300 F/150 C. Line parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are well-coated.

Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread granola into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Let granola cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Makes about 4 cups of granola.

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