But beyond the hint of tropic with which coconut oil perfumes anything it touches, it was also the toasty hue of this granola that had me swooning even before it had completely cooled, and that comes from the low and longish bake. I watched it come out of the oven, hot, and undergo it's final transformation from tannish to orange-tannish and it was at that point I became convinced that some diced bright orange apricots would only enhance the situation.
The inspiration here comes from the amazing Melissa Clark, yet the base recipe isn't anything new. But as goes with granola, it's how you accessorize, that defines how it will be. Case in point here, coconut chips, rolled oats, whole cashews and sliced almonds get tossed with equal splashes maple and melted coconut oil, a hint of vanilla, that malty coconut sugar (just a pinch) and a bit of lemon zest.
I left the cashews whole and don't fret if at first they aren't toasting when you stir. They do get toasted by the end of the bake. And I'm particularly a fan of the coconut chips here. Don't leave them out. Just trust me. Get some unsweetened ones, and let them toast and sweeten up in the oven with your maple and oil. I served this with a little milked down yogurt and more apricots. It is pretty crunchy so it holds up well to a thinner milk/yogurt counterpart. But I probably don't have to tell you how and where to sprinkle this crunchy orange bliss ; )
Double Coconut Granola
Adapted from Melissa Clark
(Vegan/Gluten-free. Makes about a heaping Pint Jar)
1 c (about 100 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cups (80 grams) mixed raw cashews and sliced almonds
1/3 c coconut chips/flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
40 ml pure maple syrup
40 ml coconut oil, barely melted
Slightly heaping 1 T coconut sugar
Pinch fresh lemon zest
2 T diced dried apricots or another dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 300. Lightly sweep a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil on your fingers.
In a large bowl mix together oats, nuts, salt, coconut chips. Whisk together barely melted oil, maple syrup and vanilla, pour over the oat mixture, and stir very well until very evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan and pat into a single layer. Bake for 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the oats are toasty and lightly browned. Note: After 55, I turned off the oven and left the pan in there an extra few minutes with the oven door open, maybe 5 mins. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with apricots and stir to combine. When the granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container for up to a week.