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Almond Coconut Granola with Dried Bing Cherries

October 22, 2012

My roommate of two years (who moved out this past June) used to make the best homemade granola.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I actually ever tasted her granola. Maybe once I tried a bite…

Once a month or so, I’d come home to the scent of roasting syrupy oats, nuts, and cinnamon drifting throughout the whole apartment– or to the sight of two cookie sheets of crunchy oat clusters cooling on the stovetop.

This always put me in a temporary state of granola envy.

It only took a month or two after my roommate moved out for me to start making my own.

This vegan granola uses coconut oil instead of butter, and is chock full of some of my favorite things:

  1. Unsweetened coconut shavings– I finally discovered a place to buy them in Santa Barbara!– that roast up all golden-brown and toasty.
  2. Crunchy chunks of chopped raw almonds (given to me by my friends Nate and Bekki at Fat Uncle Farms, in exchange for making up some almond-y recipes like this one).
  3. Dried Bing cherries, which are infinitely better than raisins, and a tinge more sour, juicy, and interesting (in my opinion) than the dried cranberries that my girlfriend likes to toss in to her granola.
  4. Plenty of other good stuff, like cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla.

Of course, the beauty of a basic recipe like this one is that you can completely customize your granola to your own taste buds. Ignore my aversion to raisins or opt for dried cranberries; mix it up with walnuts or pecans; get some pumpkin purée and ground cloves in there for pumpkin-spiced granola; toss in extra seedy goodness, like chia seeds or pepitas; you can even add chocolate chips. (Ok, this is starting to sound more trail mix-like, but you get the idea…)

I wouldn’t recommend skipping the coconut shavings, though. Once they turn a toasty brown, the nutty coconut shavings become crisp; their rich flavor enhanced by the extra dose of coconut oil.

By the way, this is only my second recipe using almonds from Fat Uncle Farms, but I’m actively dreaming up more of them… Almonds are so healthy, tasty, and versatile, and– as I rambled on about in the first almond recipe post for Almond Cinnamon Baklava— Nate and Bekki’s family grows some especially delicious almonds.

Also, a note: Since I made the batch of granola in these photos, I’ve increased the amount of agave (or maple) syrup just a little (already reflected in the recipe below), and I’ve started to firmly pat down the whole concoction with the back of a spatula before it goes in the oven. This way you get even clumpier clusters. Which is what granola’s all about.

Print this recipe.

RECIPE:

Almond Coconut Granola with Dried Bing Cherries

Ingredients:
~ 5 cups whole rolled oats
~ 1 cup whole raw almonds, chopped (I used almonds from Fat Uncle Farms)
~ 1 cup unsweetened coconut shavings
~ 2-3 tsp. cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
~ 1/2 tsp. sea salt
~ dash of ground cardamom
~ 1/3 cup coconut oil, warmed to its liquid state
~ 3/4 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 3/4 cup dried bing cherries (or dried cranberries)

How to make it:

0. If your coconut oil needs to be warmed to its liquid state, first measure it out into a bowl and set the bowl on top of the stove as the oven is pre-heating; this should help speed things along.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (optional, but makes storing the granola and cleaning the pans a lot easier!).

2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped almonds, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and cardamom. Mix well.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid coconut oil, agave syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix well.

4. Turn out ingredients onto the two baking sheets. Spread out evenly, and press down firmly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-40 minutes (35 minutes is usually perfect for me), switching the position of the pans halfway through baking.

5. Let the granola cool on the baking sheets, then sprinkle over the dried cherries or cranberries. Once completely cooled, the granola will keep well in a large, airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy as a trail mix-like snack on its own, or serve with fresh fruit and yogurt.

Print this recipe!

Related recipe posts:
> No-Pectin Fig Jam
> Crêpes with Homemade Applesauce
> Eggs Benedict with Greek Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2012 9:33 am

    Lovely! I adore personal takes on classic granola – and sometimes whole nuts are a must! Looks delicious Allison!

    • October 22, 2012 9:39 am

      Thanks, Shira! I know, everyone makes it differently… I’m just really enjoying this version right now, so I thought I’d share. :)

  2. Bekki permalink
    October 22, 2012 10:16 am

    So where do you get the unsweetened coconut? I want some too!

    • October 22, 2012 10:17 am

      At European Deli & Market (on Hollister near Modoc). It’s super cheap, too: 2 cups for a dollar!

  3. October 22, 2012 11:40 am

    Homemade granola like yours is unbeatable :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. October 22, 2012 2:16 pm

    almonds, coconut, cherry; all favorites, must try this one – thank you!

    • October 23, 2012 11:19 am

      I hope you like it! They are favorites of mine, too… especially the coconut and almonds– I can’t believe how many recipes I manage to squeeze those into :)

  5. October 22, 2012 9:21 pm

    Yum!

  6. October 23, 2012 2:15 am

    Hello Allison, I love your blog and very inspired with your interesting posts with nice photos, I am nominating you for Inspiring Blog Award. http://rabbitcancook.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/inspiring-blog-award/

    Cheers

  7. October 23, 2012 10:17 pm

    This looks awesome! I’ve always made granola with dried cranberries… but I can totally imagine that cherries bring it to a whole new level of awesomeness :)

    • October 24, 2012 9:01 am

      They do! (Although our latest compromise is simply to add cherries *and* cranberries!)

  8. October 24, 2012 8:38 am

    I’m with you — I like my granola on the trail-mixesque side! The more delicious bits and bobs the better. This version looks amazing!

    • October 24, 2012 9:03 am

      Thanks! I’m glad we agree :) That’s also why I modified the recipe a little to get more clumpy clusters than what you see in these photos.

  9. Kelly Savage permalink
    October 24, 2012 7:21 pm

    Looks great–and vegan too! I’m going to try this one–maybe in our new kitchen! (We are moving to Brooklyn Monday!)

    • October 25, 2012 3:06 pm

      Yay, I’m so excited to see photos of your new place! Good luck with the packing and the move! (Also the new Indian recipe I posted today is vegan, too!)

  10. October 24, 2012 11:57 pm

    Love this granola recipe! Somehow, every time I tried to make other granolas, it would flop into a heap of grains. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your favorite setting to use on your camera? Just wondering…. Keep up the great food! ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

    • October 25, 2012 3:11 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, I always used to imagine homemade granola as a heap of grains, but this one really does form nice clusters (nicer than in the photos, since I started using a bit more agave and really smushing it down into clumps).

      I have a Canon G12 camera, and I (know very little about photography and) basically always keep it on the “P” mode (auto exposure) with the Macro setting turned on. (That’s about as fancy as I get other than sometimes using the “custom white balance” function.)

  11. October 26, 2012 8:22 pm

    Mmm homemade granola is the best! I just found your blog and love it:)

  12. November 2, 2012 12:12 pm

    This granola looks fantastic! I eat granola often, and I will certainly give this one a try! Thank you for sharing! :)

    • November 2, 2012 4:09 pm

      Thanks, Laura! It’s pretty awesome… I just had some (of a later batch that also had chia seeds in it) for lunch today! :)

Trackbacks

  1. Inspiring Blog Award | a recipe sharing and bento blog
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  3. Almond Butter Chocolate Granola Bars | spontaneous tomato

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