I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile now. Especially in the summer months when you don’t much feel like eating a heavy breakfast, granola mixed in with some Greek yogurt (which gives you a good dose of protein to start the day) and fresh berries is delicious, healthy and light. Many years ago my oldest sister, Alicia, who has coined many words and expressions (yes, my family has our own language; is that weird?), dubbed this concoction “grunge.” FYI, this was pre-Nirvana, so don’t look for any Seattle-based tormented rock star connection because there isn’t one.
Anyhoo, the great thing about this is that it’s super healthy (low-fat, oil-free, maple syrup-sweetened), but it doesn’t sacrifice flavor because of all the goodies in there like walnuts, coconut and cranberries. And you can whip up a big batch, store it in an airtight container and you’ve got breakfast locked up for a few weeks (or a couple days if my husband gets ahold of it for a little late-night snacking). And it’s great for kids too.
And like so many things I make, you can tailor it to your likes and/or cupboard contents. Some other ideas: almonds, pecans, dried apricots, banana chips, dried strawberries, dried cherries, sesame seeds; spices like nutmeg, ginger or even a little black pepper; replace some of the maple syrup with honey, blackstrap molasses or brown rice syrup. Just mix it up (literally) and make it your own.
Low-Fat Coconut Cranberry Granola
2 cups organic oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (I used reduced fat because that’s what I had)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300ºF/150ºC. Mix the dry ingredients (with the exception of the coconut) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, water, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well. Spread the mixture on a Silpat- or parchment-lined cooke sheet. Toast for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to break up the mixture. In the last 5 minutes, add the coconut, stir to combine and return to the oven. It’s done when everything is lightly browned and crunchy. Remove and cool. Store in an airtight container. Will keep for a couple weeks.