Decadent Granola

I’ve been dreaming about a big, chunky, crispy granola, kind of like the Quaker Harvest Crunch I loved as a kid. I was trying to figure out how to achieve this for a while, and I finally found a method that gives great results. The four keys to achieving the chunky texture are: timing, temperature, quick cook oats and coconut oil. This granola takes a while to make, but you can be doing other things while it’s in the oven, since all you have to do is stir it a couple of times.

You can use either refined or virgin coconut oil to make this. Refined will not have any coconut flavour, but virgin will give you a slight coconutty flavour throughout your granola, which is actually very reminiscent of Quaker Harvest Crunch that inspired this in the first place.

I make double or triple batches of this and give it to my friends and neighbours in mason jars. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of nuts, seeds and dried fruits that you have hanging around. The nuts I’ve listed below are a good jumping off point, but feel free to sub your favourite nuts or seeds, just making sure to end up with a total of 1 ½ cups per batch. Sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts….they would all work really well here. Just make sure you’re using raw ones, otherwise they will overcook after being in the oven for so long.

If you can’t find the quinoa flakes, use all oats.

Ingredients (makes about 6 cups)

3 cups quick-cook oats
1 cup quick-cook quinoa flakes
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup whole raw pistachios
1/2 cup raw pecan halves
1/4 cup whole raw cashews
1/4 cup chopped Brazil nuts
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup coconut oil (refined if you don’t want a coconut flavour, unrefined if like your
granola to taste like coconut)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup mixed dried fruit (eg. raisins, currants, sliced dried apricots, halved dried cherries,
dried cranberries, dried blueberries)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix together oats, quinoa flakes, flaxseed meal, and nuts in a large bowl.
  3. In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine non-dairy milk, maple syrup, sugar, oils, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and coconut oil is melted.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture, stirring to coat.
  5. Spread oat mixture out on a large baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove tray from oven and reduce oven temperature to 225°F (leaving the door open for a minute will help it cool).
  7. Gently stir granola and return to oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove tray from oven, stir granola again, and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
  9. Turn off the oven, set the timer for 1 hour, leaving the granola in the oven. After 1 hour, remove from oven, add dried fruit, and let cool.
  10. Store in a mason jar, zip-lock bag or other airtight container.