Before we get to the Coconut Cranberry Orange Granola I have for you today, let’s talk about my lifelong love affair with granola. I’ve been a granola fanatic for as long as I can remember.
When I was younger, my sister was always begging my mother for the latest sugary cereals to hit the grocery aisles. Me? I was happily adding my granola to the shopping cart with my mother’s blessing.
Of course, store bought granola wasn’t as healthy as we thought, but back then I didn’t know any better.
Anyway, my granola obsession followed me to university. I always made sure to grab a box of the store bought stuff when I went to the grocery store. Okay, let’s be real.
I can go through half a box of granola in a day, since it’s almost impossible for me to stop at just one bowl. So it was more like three boxes of granola per grocery trip. Four if they were on sale.
And, being the self-proclaimed granola connoisseur that I am, I also always went for the good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean the expensive granola. As you can imagine, that was pretty hard my student budget.
But, no way was I ever going to give it up my granola. If I had to choose one food I couldn’t live without, it would probably be granola. Most recently, this coconut cranberry orange granola.
But, back to the store bought stuff. Store bought granola continued to be a drain on my food budget until I discovered the art of making granola in my third year. I remember the day vividly.
I’d just been tooling around on the internet scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, when I saw the magic words: ‘Homemade Granola’. My immediate reaction was shock. I couldn’t believe that I’d never though to make my own granola.
Of course, I picked up the necessary ingredients the next day and made a batch. Instant euphoria. I had just started cooking frequently, and granola was by far one the fastest and easiest things I had ever made.
It also used ingredients that I always had on hand. That meant I could never actually run out of granola ever again. That right there, is every granola lover’s dream.
Another thing about granola? It’s the ultimate snack food. So while December is exam time for most students and the beginning of the holiday season for everyone else, to me it signifies the start of granola season. That’s right.
I actually manage to eat more granola than usual during December. I blame it one the incessant snack monster I become while in study mode.
I’ve already made granola once a week for the last four weeks and I’ve made it differently every single time. Yep, in addition to everything else, granola is also super customizable. When first I started making granola, I stuck to the generic stuff like almonds or raisins. But these days, I get a little more exotic with it.
Take this coconut cranberry orange granola. Coconut-cranberry-orange isn’t a flavor combination that I’ve seen often. But I love all things coconut-cranberry. And the tartness of cranberries combined with the sweetness of orange is always a winner.
So when I accidentally grabbed the orange extract from the pantry instead of vanilla extract while making a batch of coconut cranberry granola, I just decided to go with it. And that’s how I was introduced to the latest in the long line of granola combinations that I love: Coconut Cranberry Orange Granola.
Study time has never tasted this good.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ⅛ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp orange extract
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- Mix together the rolled oats, ground flax and cinnamon
- In a small bowl, combined the melted coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup and orange extract
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well
- Spread the mixture evenly out onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes
- Remove from the oven, stir in the cranberries and coconut and return to the oven for another 8 minutes or until the granola is golden brown
- Allow to cool completely in the baking sheet before storing in an airtight container