Coconut Pecan Granola

I’d like to say I’m a granola aficionado.  I’ve tried out many different combinations and this one will always be a favorite.  I’d urge you to make your own granola, because it is amazing how much sugar can be packed into the store-bought stuff.  Cascadian Farms Oats and Honey Granola used to be my favorite, before I considered that 14 grams of sugar in just 2/3 of a cup hardly constitutes anything more than a dessert.  I think the key to a good granola is using the right type of oatmeal.  Quick oats are already cut up, meaning they make a flaky, powdery granola.  Regular oats are a safe choice, but I have found that thick-cut oats (available in bulk at Whole Foods Market) make the best crunchy granola.  I’d highly recommend using them for your homemade granola endeavors.

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups thick cut oats

1/2 cup wheat bran or oat bran

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup pecans

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried cherries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Combine oats, bran, coconut, and pecans in a large bowl.  Melt the coconut oil and mix together with maple syrup and vanilla.  Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Stir mixture and add dried cherries.  Bake for 15 more minutes, or until granola is browning and house smells fragrant.

This granola is delicious on its own, or in a bowl with milk or yogurt.

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