Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Healthy Eating: Pecan Coconut Granola {Recipe}

I try hard to eat healthy in order to nourish my body and in hopes of coaxing it back to health. I don't associate myself with a specific label when it comes to my diet. Aside from not consuming dairy, I am not strictly paleo, vegan, raw, etc. I do love to read cookbooks and blogs by people of these dietary persuasions though! They offer ideas and recipes that fit well into my diet, so I am going to start sharing recipes on occasion that I have tried and enjoy.

This first recipe I am going to share is very easy and doesn't require a lot of time on your feet. Plus it is something you can make once then enjoy all week. I find that using a "spoon" to cook is much more worthwhile when it will be eaten for a few days.

This granola is inspired by Ella over at Deliciously Ella. I have mentioned her blog before. Seriously, check it out if you aren't familiar with her. She is super talented and even more inspiring. I didn't have all of her ingredients on hand, so I winged it with what I had.

Her original recipe would yield more than what my recipe did. I filled a 12-ounce mason jar with the finished product and ate whatever didn't fit. I probably really needed a 16-ounce jar, but I didn't mind taking one for the team and eating some on-the-spot. My adaptation appears below:

Pecan Coconut Granola

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (or cute, itty-bitty guys left whole)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins (add more if you would like)
sea salt to taste, optional

2 T. coconut oil
2 T. maple syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, pecans, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds.

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon until melted and combined. This only takes a few minutes; I whisked it to help it combine and keep it from burning.

Pour the syrup mixture over your oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring a few times while it bakes (watch it closely so it doesn't burn). At this point, add a bit of salt of if you would like. Let it cool completely on the baking sheet, then you can mix in your raisins and transfer the granola to a jar or storage container.

Enjoy! I thought it was especially good with unsweetened, vanilla almond milk.

A few notes:

1. I was not exact at all with the cinnamon-syrup ingredients. I didn't feel like measuring, so I eyeballed it. It might have been a little more than the amounts listed, but you can't really go wrong with maple syrup and cinnamon.

2. I wasn't patient enough to wait for the oven to preheat, so I put the granola in before the oven reached 350 F. Had I waited, it might have been done before 20 minutes. Also, if you double this recipe or add to it, the timing might change.

3. I took my granola out when it smelled like the pecans were roasted. I didn't want them to burn, which nuts will do very quickly if you aren't careful. My granola still looked shiny like it wasn't dried yet, but it was fine once I let it cool.

4. Since the space in my jar was limited, I didn't mix my raisins in. I decided I would just sprinkle some on top one serving at a time.

5. The sea salt is totally optional. Ella doesn't include salt in her original recipe, but in true POTSie fashion, I like to add sodium where I can.

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