Just about every morning for the past 12 years, I’ve had a green smoothie for breakfast. When I was running the rat race in Big D, my smoothie saved me from crashing and burning when Lunchtime was so sporadic that I sometimes had to rename it Early Dinner. Although I am no longer spending my life in traffic, I still rely on my morning smoothie to help me out in the trenches of Homeschooling.
I’m about to share something with you that rocked my world when I discovered this truth. Lean in.
Not everyone has a sweet tooth.
Are you as stunned as I am at this revelation? I don’t get. I think they are cyborgs. Surely, that’s the only logical explanation. Or, maybe there is a finite number of sweet teeth in the universe and some people have more than one, leaving other poor souls without one. I have at least three. One is dedicated solely to chocolate. Another seems to favor lemon, while the last loves coconut. There may be more, but they have yet to make their debut.
This granola recipe is for the cyborgs in your life who don’t care for sweets, but deserve a treat for Valentine’s Day. We may not understand them, but we love them nonetheless.
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I love the flavor of this brand)
1/4 cup honey (use good-quality, local honey)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
Here’s what you do:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, apricots, coconut flakes and cinnamon. Stir well to distribute the cinnamon.
In a measuring cup or bowl, combine warm water and coconut oil. Stir until the coconut oil melts then stir in the honey and vanilla. If you really want some over-the-top flavor, add almond extract to the liquids. (I’m allergic to almonds so I omit this when I’m making it for my family. When I make it for friends, I add it and it is well-received. It is delicious without it. Follow your heart on this matter.)
Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir to coat.
Spread the granola on the baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, stir the mixture around the baking sheet and then spread it out again in a thin layer. Continue to do this in 10 minute increments until the coconut and oats turn light golden brown. The overall cooking time for my oven is usually 45-50 minutes. When I make this in the evening, I turn off the oven after 40 minutes and let it cool in the oven overnight.
When granola is completely cooled, store in an airtight container. Stored this way, it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
This granola is great with any kind of milk (cow’s, soy, coconut, etc.) poured over it. My favorite way to eat it is with creamy, organic vanilla yogurt.
With this basic recipe, you can customize it to omit allergens to use what you have in the pantry. No pecans? Use another nut or sunflower seeds. You don’t like apricots? Use chopped dates, dried cranberries or raisins instead. You don’t have whole flax seeds? Use ground flax seeds. You get the idea.