My family LOVES this granola recipe. It has heartiness from the old-fashioned rolled oats. It has crunchiness from the almonds. It has chewiness from the dried blueberries (or other dried fruit like currents, cranberries or raisins). And important to me, it has healthy fats (extra virgin coconut oil) and is sweetened naturally with medjool dates and maple syrup. Indeed, it has all the qualities of Granola Greatness! Do you think my husband and kiddos care about that? Nay. They love it because it is really, really yummy. I always make a double batch.
Added: For a chocolate version, sprinkle desired amount of mini chocolate chips (~1/4C) all over the granola immediately after it comes out of the oven. Allow to stand 3-5 minutes to soften and mix it into the granola then cool.
This recipe was adapted from Oh She Glows Cinnamon Bun Granola - I've changed the cooking method (lower and slower) and components in the dry ingredients but the wet ingredients were tweaked only just a little. Recipe yields about 6 cups of granola.
2C old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if intolerant)
1C raw almond slices or slivers
1/2C unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2C dried wild blueberries (or regular dried blueberries, currents, cranberries or raisins)
1/2tsp sea salt
1/2C medjool dates, pitted and soaked 5 minutes in hot water if they're rather firm (about 4-5 dates)
1/4C pure maple syrup
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, in liquid state
2 tbsp water (use the water from soaking the dates if that step was required)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 250F or 120C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a blender or food processor, blend together all of the wet ingredients. It should look like a thick brown "sauce". Add to the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed and well coated.
4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Note: if your baking sheet is dark colored, it may take less than the full hour to get golden brown. My darker baking sheet takes 45-50 minutes. Check your granola's doneness at the 45-50 minute mark! [Added Feb 13: depending on your oven, apparently it can take longer. When making it for the first time, I suggest you check every 10-15 minutes after the 45 min mark to ensure you get the perfect toasty golden brown!] Enjoy by itself, with yogurt or on top of smoothie bowls for a delicious crunch.