Saturday, January 28, 2012

Banana Chocolate Coconut Granola

Lately I've been eating lots of granola, with my favorite brand being Heartland Original! 

I know that there are many different ways one can enjoy granola, but my personal preference is adding it into some of my Chobani non-fat vanilla Greek Yogurt. 

Sadly, the store I typically buy my groceries from, has recently been all out of Heartland Granola.  Apparently it's the most popular.  Needless to say, I continued to check back every couple of days, but have had no success. 

This lack of granola prompted me to think creatively.  I mean, how hard could granola be to actually make myself?  Well, the answer to that question was quite simple.  Literally.  Not only did it appear to be easy, but it didn't seem that it would take much time either. 

I discovered that I already had the majority of the ingredients on-hand and after I purchased the rest, the process went quite quickly.  Another nice thing about making your own granola is that you can add or subtract many different ingredients, which really helps to make it your own.

I already find that I have so many new and great ideas for different flavors of granola that I want to try!

Banana Chocolate Coconut Granola
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2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2/3 cups walnuts, chopped
2/3 cups almonds, chopped
6 cups, rolled oats
6 Tbsp. canola oil
¾ to 1 cup honey
¼ ground flaxseed, optional
1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup dried bananas
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz. white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or a piece of parchment paper.

Place a large skillet over medium heat.  Once warm, add in the shredded coconut and spread around into an even layer, making sure to just cover the bottom of the skillet.  Continue to stir around until the pieces are lightly brown and nicely toasted.  Transfer the toasted coconut pieces into a bowl and wipe out the skillet.  Return the skillet to the stove and add in the walnuts and almonds.  Continue stirring the walnuts and almonds until they are lightly brown, this will take about 4-8 minutes.  Once the nuts are done, stir in the oats and the canola oil.  Continue stirring until the oats are lightly toasted and everything is mixed together.  This may take 3-6 minutes.

Transfer the oat mixture into a large bowl and add in the honey, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the ingredients together until everything is well combined.  Evenly spread out the granola mixture onto the prepared pan and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the granola starts to turn a nice light brown.  It’s important to make sure that you stir the granola around every few minutes, while it’s baking, so that the edges don’t burn.

Once the granola is done baking, add in the dried bananas and coconut, and stir around to combine.  Push the granola to one side of the baking pan and press down to form one large piece.  Let cool to room temperature.  Break the cooked and cooled granola into small chunks and mix in the chocolate.  Store in an airtight container. 

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats


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