Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Almond Apricot Granola

Almond Apricot Granola

One of my favorite boutiques sells super fancy local granola, it is delicious, it is also 10 dollars for a small jar that I may or may not have eaten in two sittings.  Granola usually is somewhere from expensive to super expensive and I always figured it was because of what is in it, right? WRONG!  I started making my own granola and this is one of my favorite variations, if I feel like being extra fancy, or have extra in my pantry I add some toasted pine nuts to the mix.  We keep it in a big clear container on the counter and often eat it by the fist full, for one 1/4 cup serving it is under 90 calories!
I do this recipe with the help of Whole Foods Paramus’ bulk section as it allows me to purchase as much or as little of each ingredient as I want and typically ends up being the most cost effective and leaves me with no waste or left over ingredients.

1 ½ cup sliced almonds
1 cup slivered almonds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup unsalted pepitas
½ cup pecans
¼ cup shelled sunflower seeds (optional)
¼ cup flax seeds (optional)
¾ cup unsweetened large flake coconut (Trader Joes sells this in a bag as well)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp maple syrup ( you can use brown sugar in place of this)
1 tsp. sea salt (regular salt is fine!)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Line one or two baking sheet with parchment paper, parchment paper has 1000 uses so buy a roll and keep it in your kitchen.
In a large bowl, add the oats, nuts (almonds, pecans), seeds (flax, pepitas, sunflower), and coconut.  Melt the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave. 

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir until all the ingredients are coated.

Spread mixture over the parchment lined sheets evenly and sprinkle with the sea salt.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, stir once, bake for 10 more minutes or until the coconut begins to brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool.  Break into chunks and mix in apricots and toasted pine nuts if you so choose.  Store in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.

I have a very hard time not eating the entire tray while it cools on the counter because it is extra delicious hot!  I love taking half of a plain, 0% Greek yogurt and mixing in 1 tsp. of maple syrup (or you can use vanilla Greek yogurt too!) sprinkling ¼ cup of granola on it and enjoying it as a snack, if you want to make this a dessert treat add some white chocolate chips to it!

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