recipe: ginger coconut pumpkin seed granola

granola

Homemade granola is so delicious and extremely easy to personalize.  This was the first time I tried to make it at home and man, I am so glad that I did!  I followed this simple recipe for the first batch (just to test the water and try my hand at it) and my husband loved how it turned out (didn’t add anything to it like raisins or nuts, just good ol’ oatmeal).

One of the reasons I wanted to try to make granola at home is because I’m allergic to honey, and most granola mixes on the market are made with it so I never buy it from a store.  My husband on the other hand loves honey and we were having a conversation the other day that started out with, “What exactly is granola?” which led me to wanting to try to make a batch for him.  The recipe I used also calls for a little bit of brown sugar which of course never hurts!

After the first batch came out successful and yummy, I decided to make some substitutions so that I could enjoy some too.  I swapped the honey out and used agave nectar instead.  I used coconut oil instead of vegetable/canola oil.  And then I added the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and a little bit of ground ginger to give it a little kick.  It is so delicious as a snack and eaten as a bowl of cereal in the morning!

Ingredients:

– 3 cups of rolled oats (not the instant kind)
– 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar (I used dark)
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (kosher salt or whatever you have on hand)
– 1/3 cup of agave nectar
– 1/4 cup of coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  I didn’t do this for the first batch and regretted it afterward.  The granola will harden as it cools so some of it will stick to the pan and require loud banging or scraping to remove.  So yes.  Line that pan with parchment paper and save yourself the hassle!

3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  I added them in the order that I listed them (except for the pumpkin seeds – I added those after the oats were baked) and stirred the batch each time I added something.  You want to make sure you mix it very well so you could also use your hands to break up large clusters.

4. Spread the mix onto the pan in an even layer.  Bake for 15 minutes.

5. Stir the granola and then bake for 5 to 15 more minutes until is a light golden brown.  I kept checking it every 5 minutes and ended up going until 15 minutes because I wanted it to be a little bit more brown, but you know your oven best.

6. Set the pan on a rack, add the pumpkin seeds, and stir to combine.  Let the granola cool down to room temperature.  Give it a stir every few minutes.  It will harden as it cools down.  The recipe says that you can store granola in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, but I doubt it will last that long if it tastes this good!

Soon after sharing this granola adventure with some friends I learned that I could use maple syrup instead of honey too.  I think for the next batch I’ll incorporate golden raisins and maybe pine nuts into the mix.  The possibilities are endless with a great base recipe to follow so have fun coming up with your own yummy concoctions!

P.S. One note about the coconut oil: the stuff I used is not in liquid form in the jar, so I measured it out and put it in a glass measuring cup to heat in the microwave.  I used 10 second intervals and it melted down enough by 20 seconds to use in the recipe.

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