I’ve never been a big breakfast eater – bagels and bacon, I could do. Otherwise, it was a granola bar on the go, a couple of hours after I woke up. However, over the past several years, I’ve come to need a decent breakfast in the mornings. My criteria: quick and portable (because I pack it and eat it as I’m reading email at work), and full of staying power. I still love my bagels, but I need something with protein to keep me full until lunch time. One of my go-to breakfasts has become homemade granola and yogurt.
If I’m looking for quick, why, do you ask, would I use homemade granola? First, it is quick. In under 30 minutes, I can have a huge batch of granola that will last for a couple of weeks (because that’s how long it takes me to eat it – it will stay fresh longer!). But more importantly, store-bought granola doesn’t hold a candle to homemade granola. The homemade stuff is just sooooo much better. I love to make a batch and pack it with extras of my favorite ingredients – such as nuts and coconut. The homemade version is full of flavor and just slightly soft. After breakfast, hide the jar – handfuls might go missing at snack-time throughout the day.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Coconut Granola
Makes 7 Cups
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook via Annie’s Eats
- 1 c. shredded sweetened or unsweetened coconut
- 2/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts (or almonds)
- 3 c. old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 Tbs. veggie oil
- 1/2 c. honey
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. dried cherries (or, in a pinch, cranberries)
- 4-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss coconut, nuts, oats, oil, honey, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
If your granola is golden and lightly toasted, remove from oven. If it’s not (and mine wasn’t), raise the temperature to 350F and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until golden.
Remove from oven. Sprinkle dried cherries on top and mix in. Spread granola back out, evenly, onto baking sheet. Press down gently, so that granola is in one big piece. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Break into pieces. Toss with chopped chocolate.
Store in an airtight container.