Healthy Granola with a Tropical Island Flavor.

All my kids eat granola and I keep buying it for them because they need the fat and it is fairly nutritious. I buy granola in bulk and end up paying like eight dollars for a decent size bag. Recently, I was visiting my mom and she is always watching the Food Network, I don’t remember if it was Giada at Home or The Barefoot Contessa I was watching, but one of them made homemade granola and my light bulb went off. I thought to myself, I could easily make that at home, let the kids add ingredients they like and save at least half of what I would pay in the store.

I wanted to use a base recipe to work off of, so I combed through a few cookbooks and found one I really liked, Candle Café Granola from The Candle Café Cookbook (my favorite vegetarian restaurant in New York City). As you will soon see, I modified it quite a bit but it did give me a good idea on how to make it. One of the reasons I chose this recipe was because it called for coconut oil rather than butter and I’ve been trying to use more coconut in our diet (It is considered to be a highly beneficial superfood, more on that in my other blog: super-healthy-foods.com).

So I used steel-cut and rolled oats like it called for but I added oat bran and quinoa flakes for more nutrition. I opted out of the walnuts (kids aren’t too crazy about them and added more almonds than the recipe called for. It also listed sunflower seeds to be added but I substituted flax seeds instead.

The Candle Café uses maple syrup as the sweetener but I only had a little left so I mixed that with my favorite local, unfiltered raw honey. I added the suggested vanilla extract, coconut oil and sea salt. Mixed it all together and spread it out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and put it in the oven on 350 for about 20 minutes (mixing it up occasionally).

After it cooled, the recipe said to mix in raisins and unsweetened coconut to complete the dish. I did mix in the coconut but my kids chose dried pineapple bits in leu of the raisins. It came out awesome and the kicker was when my picky daughter said that it was way better than the granola we get from the store—Score! I also think I saved like $5 dollars in the process.