Providing nourishment has been one of the number one ways to show someone that you care. You can bake a cake for your mom’s birthday, bring a savory tart to a friend’s holiday party or deliver chicken noodle soup to someone sick in bed. Parents of newborns enjoy good food as well. Neither one of us can possibly imagine what it’s like to have a little baby on your hands, but we do know that it’s not an easy job. The last thing you want to do while bouncing a bundle of joy on your knee, warming up a bottle, shooing the dogs away and trying to tie your shoe is think about dinner for the evening. You barely even remember that eating dinner is important. When the sun has risen the next morning and you’re rolling out of bed, bleary eyed from a sleepless night, it’s also possible that a healthy breakfast is forgotten as well. In an effort to help two new parents with a baby boy, this granola was born.
Kelapo sent a jar of its extra virgin coconut oil, and it was the perfect addition to this baking trial. The last time you saw coconut oil on this site, it was used in a savory, spicy Thai salad. The subtle aroma and flavor of coconut oil is a nice touch for baked goods, and it would add just the right bite to crumbly, crunchy oats, nuts and chocolate. Oh yes, chocolate. Oats, nuts and chocolate are perfect companions for coconut oil. Whenever you find a recipe, especially for granola, keep in mind that many elements can be swapped out or omitted entirely. This is a whatever’s-in-the-pantry sort of creation, so change the nuts, seeds, dried fruits and sweetener as you please. A brand new jar of brown rice syrup played a role in this granola, but you could easily use maple syrup, agave or honey. Hopefully the new parents found themselves with a snack for morning, noon or night.
Orange and Dark Chocolate Granola – Approximately 12 cups
3 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking oats)
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup whole cashews
3/4 cup peanuts
3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup whole pistachios
1/4 cup pepitas
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Kelapo coconut oil
1 cup brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, and raisins. Set aside.
2. In a medium pot, bring the oils, brown rice syrup, cinnamon, salt and orange juice and zest to a very low simmer, stirring often. Remove from heat and pour over the oats and nuts mixture. Combine well, coating everything with the liquid sweetener.
3. Divide the sticky granola over two baking sheets and spread everything out into a thin, uniform layer. Slide into an oven preheated to 300 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the granola on both pans halfway during baking to ensure even browning.
4. Turn the oven down to 250 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the oven when done and cool completely.
5. Break into smaller pieces if desired, or leave as is, then toss in the chocolate pieces. Mix well. Store in airtight containers.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
Kelapo provided a jar of its coconut oil for our review. The opinions expressed here are our own.