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!

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One response to “Coconut and orange granola, with dried papaya and cranberries…

  • mishy

    I LOVE this granola. I remember when you sent it out a year ago or so. Omg it’s seriously my most favorite granola ever. And now I can make it at home too!! THANKS!!!!!

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