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Almond, Honey and Coconut Granola

March 26, 2015

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We all love a good food pairing.  You know, like fried chicken and waffles, steak and potatoes, eggs and bacon, or the all-American classic of peanut butter and jelly.  Certain flavors and textures were just made for each other.

 

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This is how I’ve always felt about granola and Greek yogurt.  The sweet balances the tart, while the creamy counters the crunch.  There is simply no better breakfast pairing in my book (until the day comes when a warm fudgy brownie and vanilla ice cream are an approved breakfast standard).

 

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Considering the depth of my appreciation for home-made granola, I can’t explain why it took me this long to try making it myself.  It’s easy-peasy with little mess and therefore minimal clean-up, and the actual labor time maxes out around 15 minutes.  So naturally after sampling the final product and discovering it was delicious in addition to being fast and easy,  I immediately made another massive batch.

 

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The almonds add a delightful flavor and texture, but it’s the almond extract that definitely provides the wow-factor in this dish’s flavor profile.  I brought a bunch along with me to a bachelorette weekend, and was delightfully surprised at both its warm reception as well as the fact that so many people picked up on the extract.  Apparently, it’s a thing.  As in people love using it in the kitchen as well as dabbing it behind the ears before dates to add a certain mystique.  You heard it here first, ladies.  (Or maybe I’m just behind the times). Regardless, almond extract is my kitchen’s new staple ingredient.

 

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Having never made granola before, I tried out a recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen, tweaking the ingredients here and there to highlight flavors that I personally love.  It was everything I had hoped it would be and more, but I do look forward to playing around with different flavors and recipes in the future.  I’m thinking cardamom, pistachio and vanilla, or perhaps maple and thyme…

 

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Bon appétit!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds

3 cups whole rolled oats

1/2 tsp salt (preferably Maldon)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a blender or food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the almonds until finely chopped.  With a sharp knife, coarsely chop the remaining 1/2 cup

Combine almonds into a large bowl with the oats, salt and brown sugar.  Stir to combine

In a microwavable bowl, heat the honey and coconut oil together for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave, stirring in the vanilla and almond extracts before pouring over the oat mixture.  Mix thoroughly until evenly coated

Pour the oat mixture over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (baking sheets with sides are preferable)

Heat for 5 minutes in the oven.  Remove to stir before returning to the oven.  Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from oven to cool completely (at least 30 minutes)

Break into pieces and store in airtight container such as tupperware or a large mason jar.  Freezes well, too!

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