Saturday Granola: Cranberry Coconut Edition

Homemade cranberry coconut granola by Homemade Escapades

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day – hands down. Not only my favorite meal time of the day, but favorite meal to eat any time. Whether we’re talking about fluffy pancakes, or gravy poured over two halves of a toasted biscuit, or a fresh smoothie, or bacon, I’m game. Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite TV shows – partly because the characters are lovable, partly because deep down I’m Leslie Knope and I’m married to Ben Wyatt, but mostly because Leslie and Ron singlehandedly helped the world see how truly irreplaceable breakfast food is (excuse me while I wipe away this small tear).

Most people I know can’t wake upwithout their coffee. I, too, take my morning coffee very seriously, but as my poor husband has learned, I can not begin to endure the pains of this world start the day with an empty stomach. I’m not kidding, you guys. It gets messy.

Being that breakfast is important to me, I’ve explored a variety of breakfast options for my own dining pleasure – as Seth does not usually eat in the mornings. I’ve prepared smoothies ahead of time and made instant frozen oatmeal, I’ve even tried the overnight oats and I like them all… but sometimes nothing beats a good bowl of cereal. Well, in this case, granola.

I liked granola because it supposedly had less sugar and junk in it than actual cereal. However, I learned that “healthy granola” is generally a gimmick and it’s got no more value in it than the whole grain Captain Crunch you’re munching. So a few years ago, I set out to make my own granola because the Internet said it was easy. And ya know what? The Internet was right.

Cranberry Coconut Granola_4_wm

Since then, I’ve made countless varieties of granola – so much so that it’s almost become a habit on Saturdays to make a jarful of granola for the following week. I like making my own because I control what goes into my granola and how much of it. The fun part about granola is that the flavor possibilities are endless! I’ve used all kinds of ingredients including (but not limited to) ginger, molasses, thyme, and cocoa. Like I mentioned in one of my firs posts, granola is an equation that allows for tons of improvisation.

To make granola, it’s as simple as gathering your ingredients, turning on the oven, mixing it all up, and popping it in the oven. That’s it! The only thing you need to worry about is the last 10 minutes, or so, of baking – give it a light shuffle around on the pan and watch to make sure it doesn’t brown too much in its final moments. Not only does homemade granola taste delicious, but it makes your house smell so good while it’s baking. It reminds me of baking cookies, but less sweet with an added dash of outdoors and maple syrup – we’ll call it the lumberjack factor.

I hope that you have as much fun experimenting with granola as I do! If you try this recipe or make it your own with different flavors, I want to know. I’m going to try to post a new recipe frequently on Saturdays, so what kind of flavors would  you be curious to try?

Coconut Cranberry Granola with almonds is deliciously homemade and easy

Making granola is easy! This Cranberry Coconut recipe is packed with delicious ingredients.
Cranberry Coconut Granola
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Making granola is easy! This Cranberry Coconut recipe is packed with delicious ingredients.
Cranberry Coconut Granola
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 300º and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (oats - ginger) in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil and honey. Microwave on 70% power for about a minute, stirring every 20 seconds. Your mixture doesn't need to be hot or melted, just warm enough that it will mix evenly.
  4. Pour your honey mixture into the dry ingredients along with the vanilla. Stir stir stir! It will take a lot of stirring to spread everything out evenly.
  5. Once it is all combined, dump the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly. Try to leave the granola loose on the pan and not packed in tightly - this allows for more even baking.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes - stirring only once after 30 minutes. After you've stirred it, keep a close eye on the granola to make sure it's not browning too much. You want your oats to be a nice toasted, gold... not a burnt molasses color.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool to the touch, mix in your cranberries and allow to continue to cool completely. Transfer the mixture to an air-tight container for storage. This should keep for about 2 weeks.
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