Sunday, October 2, 2011

Slow Roasted Cranberry Coconut Granola



I think some things are just better when you slow them down.  

Thinking of food, imagine savoring slow braised short ribs, or smelling the aromas from a pot of spicy chili that has been simmering away on the stove all day... But the beauty of taking things a little slower is not just restricted to the kitchen - I love spending a long afternoon just walking around in the park, or lingering over my morning latte on the weekends.  With those sorts of things, it is easy for me to be lazy and enjoy them, but other times I have to remind myself to take it slow. For instance, when I am reading a good book, I just race through it as though I have no discipline to tell myself to put it down and do other things, like you know, eat and sleep.  Many times, it is easy to just run through life at a breakneck pace, but then you end up missing out on so many little things.  


So when I saw a recipe for slow-roasted granola on Healthy Green Kitchen, I loved it not only for the practical reasons for slow roasting (keeping the dried fruit soft), but also because it was the perfect recipe to make over a long relaxing weekend. Having just come back from camping in Sequoia, I was really excited about making something healthy that also keeps well and is perfect for snacking.  


The original recipe that I saw on Winnie's site was a slow roasted granola sweetened with honey, and with bits of dried persimmon and crunchy pistachios. Now while I adore both persimmons and pistachios, I know someone (ie. the best sister ever) that really loves cranberry and coconut, so I decided to switch up the flavors to make something for her.   


To round out the oats, dried cranberries, and coconut, I also added sesame seeds and flaxseeds - super simple, but super healthy.  And then comes the best part of the recipe - just toss everything together, and let it all slow roast in the oven. And when you slow roast, all you need to do is turn on the oven as low as it will go (usually around 175 degrees Fahrenheit), and then put the granola in there for about 8 hours to dry it out.   

Sticky and lightly sweet ingredients before roasting...

Just-crunchy-enough granola after roasting....

Since the temperature is low for roasting the granola, you don't end up with super hard dried fruit.  For me, when I am eating granola and the dried fruit feels more like a rock than something edible, all I want to do is pick it out; in this granola, the cranberries are just soft enough, making them one of my favorite parts.  Plus I also really love the sesame seeds and the flaxseeds because they provide that tiny little textural element that is altogether different from the oats, the coconut, or the cranberries. 


Once I had the granola in-house, I couldn't help but eat it for breakfast... then snack on it at lunchtime... and before I knew it, the first batch was almost all gone.  Since I had originally planned to make this granola as a care package for some to family members, I happily made a second batch. 


But wouldn't you know it - during one of those long, slow, relaxing afternoons I managed to eat half of the granola again!  For snacking, it truly is irresistible. When all was said and done, I had just enough left to put the remaining granola in some mason jars to take home to when I visited my parents in Ohio.  

Well, I suppose I will have to just make a third batch, because now that I have have tasted it, I know my sister will definitely love it.  It seems another lazy day of slow roasting is in order... maybe this time I should just double the recipe.   


You might also like: Peanut Butter and Oat Energy Bites (everyone loves these!), or Simple Oat and Brown Sugar Scones
One year ago: A Luxury Dinner, with Lemon, Leeks, and Lamb (the Cauliflower Soup recipe is one of my favorites)


Slow Roasted Cranberry Coconut Granola

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2-1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1 cup (or more if desired) chopped dried cranberries 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all-spice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey


Preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting your oven can hold temperature.  Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the olive oil and honey.  Mix the well so everything is evenly distributed.  In a separate medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the olive oil and the honey, and microwave them for just a few minutes until the oil and honey are warm (start with 30 seconds, then stir, then microwave again until everything is warm). Whisk them to combine, then pour the entire mixture over the oats and fruit in the large bowl.  Mix well so that all the dry ingredients are coated with the honey and oil.  


Spread the oat mixture out evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake for approximately 8 hours (adjust time depending on what your oven is set at).  This is easy to do by roasting overnight if you like, or all day on a Saturday or Sunday.  You can also bake for less time by increasing the temperature - for instance, the original Saveur recipe suggests baking at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half an hour.  


When baked at this low temperature, the granola will not get to be a dark brown - it will just barely be a golden color.  Once it is done, let it completely cool, then break up any large clumps with your hands. Granola will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Eat with milk, yogurt, with fruit, for for a snack.   

79 comments:

  1. Really nice, clean and simple! Love it

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  2. Just the fact that you said "slow roasted" made me take a deep breath and read this post a little slower than I normally do. This is definitely a recipe I have to make soon, thanks for the reminder to take life slow! It is needed every now and again.

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  3. soo heavenly!! Trying it for sure. Thanks Amanda :) Love your recipes and the blog!

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  4. I love homemade granola! Yours looks really delicious. A perfect combination of flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. I'm always making granola, but never thought to slow roast it, I love it and can't wait to try this! Thank you.

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  6. I'll be making some of this very soon! Can't wait to try it! Looks amazing!

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  7. I'm speechless. That's one for me! And best: You have nearly everything at home to make it. Think I have everything and will try the next days... :-)

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  8. Mmmm, I just made and posted a granola recipe as well :) Great mind think alike! I will definitely be giving this a shot.

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  9. What a great combination of flavours and I love the idea of slow roasting it to really bring those flavours alive.

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  10. oh this would be perfect for my mornings, I am totally a muesli or granola person! Thanks, I'll make it asap --I'm sure I'll finish it super quickly! :)

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  11. Amanda this is so beautiful! I am glad my granola inspired you to make this lovely version ;)

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  12. I love this, such a happy food, I love home made granola, coconut is one of my favorites. Yum

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  13. Oh, how I love granola! Stunning photos...and what a beautiful gift~

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  14. This looks like a great recipe, and very healthy. I eat oats and flaxseeds most mornings, this is another version. I will try for sure.

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  15. Definitely trying this version. Am intrigued about the slow roasting. When I started making granola I was very happy with the results but recently been very dissatisfied, a sign to switch gears I guess. TY & did I really miss this on Winnie's site?! Hmm

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  16. I should have known better than to read this while hungry. I could eat that on or in anything. Great recipe.

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  17. Amanda,
    I love homemade granola. This one looks really good. And your pictures are awesome.

    Jenn

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  18. I've never had much luck making my own granola before, but this recipe looks pretty easy (and yummy), so I'll have to give it a try again. :-)

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  19. Any time you end up reading that someone made three batches of something you know how good it must be! I like the sound of a slow roasted granola. That could hit the spot right now.

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  20. I don't think granola has ever looked so beautiful. :)

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  21. This looks amazing!! It's been awhile since I've made granola - this is inspiring me.

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  22. Oof... that looks scrumptious, and so cozy for fall! Might be just the thing to tempt my husband into eating breakfast with me...

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  23. Sister I'm so glad you thought of me in making your granola recipe! I love this combination! (As you already know) Can't wait to try this! Looks like a perfect snack :)

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  24. All my favorite ingredients in there! I totally agree with you on the hard pieces if dried fruit in granola so I love this.

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  25. This recipe looks so fabulous and your photos totally show it off! Mmmmm, I want some!

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  26. Looks fresh and delicious - perfect for my morning breakfast!

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  27. I have a batch in the oven, and it smells wonderful, but I must point out - I put my honey and oil in the microwave for two minutes, and everything was vigorously boiling and spilling over the edge of the bowl in no time. Start at 30 seconds! Or even just a few seconds!

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  28. Sarah: Thanks for pointing that out! That was exactly how I did mine - started with 30 seconds, took it out and stirred it, then microwaved it again, etc for a few minutes, but I apologize for not being clearer in the recipe instructions. I added more precise instructions just now - hope you enjoy the granola as much as I did! :)

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  29. A quick, easy, and very delicious recipe that can be eaten for cold cereal, topping on yogurt or even for a snack. Because it does a better job that honey, I use part maltose syrup.

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  30. As always, another delicious and inspiring recipe to try... and I'll try it once I am done staring and drooling over these gorgeous photos. :)

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  31. I love homemade granola. Your pics are beautiful too! I will be trying your recipe.

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  32. I love the slow roasting! Perfect for a day when I'm working at home. I think I might add pumpkin seeds too. Thanks for the recipe!

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  33. New follower. Have no idea why I wasn't following you before. Your site is beyond gorgeous. Love the granola, huge fan of coconut in it. You take such stunning photographs. Congrats on top 9!

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  34. Great pics and packaging. I am a sucker for homemade granola! Beautiful.

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  35. I'll bet your sister was thrilled with this granola. So many granolas are packed with fat and sugar, but this one is low on both. I'll be making this for my family!

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  36. I love homemade granola. I love it on yogurt in the morning. even when we go out for breakfast, i order it, and my husband teases me that i order granola when i could have something else. :) what can i say...i know what i like. You are an awesome sister!

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  37. Would this work by cooking it in a food dehydrator?

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  38. I love making my own granola and am always looking for great new recipes - this is a keeper! Looks so good.

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  39. Misty: I have never tried making myself in a dehydrator, but I did a little searching online and it is possible to make granola in a dehydrator. It looks like most recipes recommend lower temps (110-115) and longer times (15 hours). Also, check the manual for your dehydrator and see if it has any recommendations. hope this helps! Let me know how it turns out!

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  40. healthy, sweet and pretty! everything i love in a small cute jar =)

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  41. ive seen sooo many recipes for granola this week...but this slow-roasted is what i wanna try! i think ill have to leave it for a quiet day at home...prob not a good idea to leave oven on while im out over the wkend :P apart from keeping the dried fruit soft, do you think slow roasting makes a whole lot of difference? just thinking mb ill give this recipe a try this afternoon but turn up the oven since i don't have the 8 hours...

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  42. Viv: The original Saveur recipe baked the granola at 300 degrees for shorter time and theirs turned out fine, but you can tell the difference even just looking at the color - zip over to their page and take a look at their granola, it is much darker brown and more crispy; the one from this recipe is lighter brown and more chewy, but still crisp. The overall major difference is in the texture of the fruit I think. Let me know how it turns out! :)

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  43. Wow fast response thank you! :D Will be getting on it soon with the Saveur version as I don't have the time. Perfect way to spend my friday afternoon haha ;) Can't wait to top it up with yogurt and fruits..and also put them in mason jars too. Will let u know how it goes...thanks again.

    And with your question regarding the scones, just replace the buckwheat with cake flour. (The original recipe I saw uses all cake flour actually, I just subbed with buckwheat). So using 250g of cake flour for that recipe altogether. If you're making it, I suggest you chop the strawberries finer than i did...my chunks were too big :P

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  44. You just gave me a great idea for Xmas presents!

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  45. What an amazing coincidence - I just met you at the San Diego food bloggers' meeting - and Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen is one of my dearest food blogging pals! Small world!

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  46. Tried this over the weekend and turned out delicious :) I had to turn up the oven to around 120C to shorten the baking time slightly! I used whatever ingredients i had on hand - like black sesame and sultanas instead...will need to buy some cranberries and pistachios when im out next time! Tasted soo good on my yogurt...now im on a look out for cute mason jars so i can give away as gifts :)

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  47. Viv: So glad you loved it! I had planned another batch for this weekend, but ended up baking cupcakes instead. ;) Yay for gift-giving!

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  48. I like making my own granola, but have never tried slow roasting it. Gonna give this a shot next time. Thanks!

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  49. This granola is SO calling my name!

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  50. I made this yesterday and it turned out fantastic! My family has been picking on it since it came out of the oven. Great recipe, and healthy, too!

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  51. Cranberries are the perfect SWEET to anything

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