You can’t win’um all folks.
This week I wanted to make a batch of granola – something I’ve done many times with consistant success.
This week did not want me to make a batch of granola. Timing was off, I didn’t have the ingredients I like to use, and it was a thousand degrees and humid. But I was feeling headstrong and stubborn, so I persisted. The record for me versus the anti-granola-making-energy is a tie leaning towards the anti-granola-making-energy…and easily arguable that that stupid energy won.
Normally I use a slew of nuts and seeds and coco nibs and thick luscious liquid to bind everything together, but this time I didn’t have enough of the nuts and my liquid element wasn’t thick enough for everything to come together. I also attribute a lot of the issue to the fact that there was 80% humidity that day. Looking back I realize it was a loosing battle to try and remove the moisture from food when the air quality wants nothing but to surround said food in a bubble of water.
With that said. This recipe may be great on another day – add more maple syrup, nuts and chocolate and you’ll have a winner.
SIDENOTE: you can tell based on my enthusiasm that I wrote out the recipe before the granola came out of the oven…
Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola:
1 cup pure cranberry juice – unsweetened
½ cup pure maple syrup – not the fake stuff
½ cup coconut oil
4 cups rolled oats – not quick oats
2 cups unsalted raw sunflower seeds
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup crushed almonds
1 ¼ cups shredded coconut – not sweetened
In a sauce pan over med-high heat bring the juice, syrup and oil to a soft boil. Meanwhile in a really large mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, excluding the shredded coconut, toss a bit to combine and set aside.
Once the sauce is boiling add in the coconut and stir to combine. It will look a little strange – sort of foamy and, quite honestly, a little gross. Let it cook for just a minute, then turn off the stove and pour the mixture over the ingredients in your big bowl. Carefully mix to combine (I have basically thrown granola all over my kitchen trying to mix too hastily).
Divide the mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheets or into coconut-oil-greased cupcake tins.
If you go for the cookie sheet press the granola into a thin even layer.
If you go the cupcake tin direction press the granola down so that it comes up about ¾ of the way up the tin, again make sure it’s even.
Bake in the oven at 225’ F for about a half an hour or until it’s nice and golden. Don’t forget to check regularly after the 15 minutes mark as it can go from raw-looking to dragon-fire charred in a matter of seconds.
A little trick I’ve picked up with granola is that if you want cereal consistency, break the granola up right away, but if you want clusters or bars let the tray dry COMPLETELY – this is especially necessary for the cupcake tin version. It’s tedious, annoying, and I often don’t have the patience for this, but there is something extra tasty about clustered granola – plus it’s better for travel!
All-in-all the taste is mostly there it just never got crispy darn it!
May you have better luck and more pleasant weather!