Monthly Archives: December 2010

Coconut and orange granola, with dried papaya and cranberries…

As I am sitting down to write this entry, the ground is slowly getting covered with snow, a fire is roaring in the fireplace, the baby…snoozing in her bed, and me…crunching on warm granola for dinner. I decided that I am going to make this granola a holiday tradition for a couple of reasons. First, it is very therapeutic to bake as it makes the whole house smell like coconut and orange essence…and that, for some reason makes me feel calm. Second, the end result is warmly toasted oats with jewels of diced, dried, papaya and cranberry. They look beautiful all packed up, for…spoiler alert…holiday gifts. I am also suddenly taken back to my childhood when I used beg my mom to let me scoop out the granola in bulk from the bins at The Granary market in my hometown…a beautiful market that was sadly bought out by a large natural foods chain.  Do any other Pac Grovians remember The Granary smelling like toasted oats and orange? As a side note, I will always crave their carob chip cookies.

In this recipe, I used a raw coconut oil instead of a vegetable oil to enhance the nuttiness of the oats, as well as adding pepitas, pecans, and shredded coconut for texture. Plus, the mixture boasts timely tones of green and red. If I had carob chips I would add them, believe me, but this recipe certainly does want for more.

Coconut and orange granola, with dried papaya and cranberries…

8 cups rolled oats

3 cups coarsely chopped pecans

2 cups pepitas

1 1/2 cup dried papaya

1 1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup shredded coconut

zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup raw coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat up coconut oil until it turns to liquid.  This coconut oil usually comes in a jar and is solid and of a waxy consistency.  Add honey and brown sugar. Mix until combined.  Cool. Add vanilla.  Set aside.  Mix together oats, pepitas, pecans, and shredded coconut. Add orange zest, combine. Pour coconut oil mixture over the oats and mix. In batches, spread evenly over an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until lightly toasted, approximately 10-12 minutes, tossing regularly for an even toast.  Caution, it is very easy to overcook and even burn the granola.  Remove from oven, cool, then add dried fruit. Delicious as a cereal, or even over vanilla ice cream.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!


No bake peanut butter oat treats…

Some times I like to have a sweet treat with my morning coffee, especially on cold, grey days like today when you feel like life needs a little extra pizzazz. Something about the combination of sweet indulgence with a piping hot French roast, feels so satisfying.  The other part of me, however, believes in breakfast. It is by far my favorite meal of the day, and it should be substantial and nourishing. Well, I discovered a recipe that, although not originally intended for breakfast, can be adapted as such.  These no bake, tasty treats are packed full of protein and fiber, make you feel satiated while at the same time naughty for eating what feels like cookies for breakfast. I imagine that all you parents out there would also feel guiltless about giving these to your children in multiples, as they are pure, wholesome, goodness.  I am extra fond of this recipe because it evokes memories of a snowy afternoon…in the Colorado mountains…with family.

No bake peanut butter oat treats…

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup organic crunchy peanut butter

1 cup organic rolled oats

½ cup dried cherries

2-3 tbs honey

2 tsp orange zest

1 tbs sesame seeds

**This recipe is extremely adaptable, and can be made from anything you have in your pantry.  You can exchange peanut butter for any other nut butter, dried cherries with any other dried fruit, sesame seeds with flax seeds…what have you***

In a small heavy pot, heat peanut butter, honey, and orange zest. Mix well.  Once nicely softened and well combined, add oats, cherries, and sesame seeds. Mix until evenly combined.  Roll in to tablespoon sized balls and let stand for 20 minutes. Voilà!

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!