Friday, July 17, 2015

Berry Coconut Granola

Everyone has their own relaxation routines. For some, it's laughing to their favorite comedy on TV after work. Others exemplify the too true fact that "stressed" spelled backwards reads "dessert." For this girl, exercise and baking are my two favorite respites.

Combine a fridge full of ripe blueberries, a granola addict in need of a new flavor for her weekly fix, and summer hours with time in the kitchen to kill, and I had everyone in the family drooling over the oven's new berriful fragrance.

Blueberries win the spotlight in this one!
With inflammation-fighting turmeric, healthy fats (and delicious flavor) from coconut oil, flour and flakes, hidden veggies from my favorite shredded zucchini, and antioxidant-packed blueberries, this granola not only tastes good, but does good for you.

And, being gluten free, paleo, vegan, and low fodmap, it is also the perfect recipe for nearly any kind of eater. Meaning there's no reason to not raid the nearest fridge and pantry, grab some cooking supplies and get your granola on!

(Can you guess the celiac-safe nut and seed source I love?)
Ingredients:

Dry:

1 1/2 cups of buckwheat groats
1 1/2 cups of favorite puffed cereal (I used a mix of puffed rice and puffed amaranth)
2 1/4 cups of mixed seeds or nuts (I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds and cashews)
1/2 cup of chia seeds
1/3 cup of cacao nibs
1/4 cup of coconut flakes
1/4 cup of banana chips (or other dried fruit)
2 TBSP cacao powder
2 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 TBSP coconut flour

Wet:

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (or water)
3 TBSP of coconut oil (or alternate baking oil)
1 small zucchini, shredded
2 ripe mashed bananas
2/3 cup blueberries (either fresh and mashed/pureed, or frozen, defrosted and mashed)


Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the granola baking is as easy as measuring, mixing and making your mouth water! First pour pour all of your dry ingredients into a bowl. Then move onto the wet components. For best results, mash (or defrost and then mash) your bananas and blueberries in a separate bowl before adding them to the rest of the mix. If you like your granola smooth rather than having chunks of fruit, you can also puree the bananas and berries in a blender.

Netflix, of course, amps up the relaxation factor!
Next, work off some of the granola you will (inevitably) devour by grating a zucchini directly over your mixing bowl. You could probably replace the zucchini with sweet potato or an extra banana, but I love the addition of veggies (which you can't even taste!) and chewy texture. Once the zucchini is shredded, add in the liquids. The unbaked granola should already be rather wet from the fruits and veggies, so you can adjust the amount of liquid to your desired texture.

Finally, transfer the unbaked goodie into several baking sheets (I used three lined with parchment paper), either pressing it down firmly with a spatula for denser clumps or leaving it loose for a smaller clusters. Toss your pans into the oven and wait for your edible perfume to start filling the kitchen. I baked my pans for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, but feel free to cook until the granola gains your desired crunch factor. For the best clumps, let the granola cool for at least two hours before breaking apart the sheets and storing.

The ultimate clusters!
As for how to eat your finished product? Choices really are limitless! I love it on top of my famous smoothie bowls for breakfast and sprinkled (okay, more like dumped!) over my coconut yogurt for a late night snack. You can even eat it back the handful while running errands or use it as breakfast cereal.

Any way, any time, is always "berry" delicious.

Just a few of my favorite ways...
I'm no professional at relaxing. Just ask my parents, boyfriend or college roommates and that will be clear. When I do need a little extra help to put my feet up - and rocket my taste buds - baking is always a good choice. Especially when the relaxation process means I have delicious snacks, breakfast toppers, and desserts fresh out the oven a couple hours after!


*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's Link Party! and Vegetarian Mama's GF Friday!*

What's your favorite late night snack? How do you like to relax? Comment below!



3 comments:

  1. Granola is the best type of baking! Cooking is my relaxation!!

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    Replies
    1. Cooking and exercising relax me too...evens out nicely! ;)

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  2. This granola sounds amazing! I love the sneaky added veggies. Can't wait to try it out =)

    ReplyDelete