Here's another one for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil. Granted, there isn't a lot of coconut oil in this granola, but it is still in there! Coconut oil is definitely my preferred oil of choice for such kitchen endeavors. But despite my deep love for coconut oil, I don't see the need to drown my granola with it! There are lots of recipes out there for granola calling for upwards of 1/4 cup of oil for a comparable amount of oats and other ingredients, which I think is total overkill and leads to very heavy granola. I like what the combination of a little coconut oil with cashew butter does in this recipe. The cashew butter adds great flavor, fabulous protein, the combination of fats allow the oats to crisp up and turn golden without being heavy or greasy. Yay!
I came up with this recipe for a friend who was having a serious granola craving, and she and her husband both loved how easy it is to make and how delicious it tastes. I hope you enjoy it as much as they do! Granola is perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or to sprinkle over everything from homemade coconut milk ice cream to rice porridge. Yum!
This easy-to-make granola is nutty, sweet, and spicy. If cashew butter isn't your thing, try tahini, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or another butter of your choosing.The unbaked granola "dough" will taste sweeter than the finished granola does after it is baked, so add a little more sweetener while making to taste than you might think you should - it will bake up perfect then.
4 cups gluten-free rolled oats (NOT quick cook)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pinches finely ground sea salt
3/4 cup organic apple juice
1/2 cup roasted cashew butter
1/4-1/2 cup honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup, to taste (if desired, use only 1/4 cup sweetener plus stevia, to taste)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup raisins (a mixture of purple, red, and golden raisins would be pretty)
Preheat oven to 325º F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Mix together oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk together apple juice, cashew butter, sweetener, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame, whisking constantly to mix. Once is starts to thicken slightly, remove from heat.
Immediately pour warm cashew butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheets. Mixture should be no more than 1/2-inch thick, so if your baking sheet is too small, line another sheet and spread mixture onto two pans.
Place in oven and bake for an hour to and hour and fifteen minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp (if using two pans in the oven, rotate between oven racks each time you stir). Remove from oven and let cool completely, then stir in dried fruit and store in a well-sealed jar or container.
If kept well-sealed, this will keep fresh for 2 weeks.