I confess, I don’t like cooked oatmeal. So, when my friend Helen gave me a nickel bag of the granola she made from her no wheat, no sugar regimen, a bell when off in my head. Just because it’s not cooked doesn’t mean the oatmeal isn’t doing all the great things it’s purported to do. Lower cholesterol, check. Make you feel full with all that good fiber, check. Making this granola was a no brainer and will not only be a tasty new breakfast choice but a good after school snack for my daughter. Helen’s recipe called for pecans but I had walnuts on hand and because walnuts have some great health benefit claims. Ever notice the similarity between the shape of a walnut and that of the brain? Walnuts pack a whollop of Omega 3 fatty acids which helps fight depression. Being in full-on-Winter, any help in that department is appreciated. Full disclosure, I broke up some Wow, Walnuts from my cupboard but you can use raw walnuts.
On this one, do as I say, not as I do, or did. (add the currents after baking not as I did, turning them into hard, sweet but with a bit overdone flavor). It’s ok, everyone makes mistakes in cooking and that way you learn with little to no harm done.
***A friend wrote me (on Facebook) commenting that I should try raw coconut nectar, so I’ve added it as well as a link to some info on it to this post. It’s a very low glycemic sweetener derived from the sap of the coconut tree. It’s full of vitamins and amino acids. I’m going to try this on my next batch of this granola.
Ingredients for 12 cups or 24 servings
9 cups oats – not quick cooking
3/4 cup agave nectar or fruit sweetener (or raw coconut nectar)
2 Tbsp butter (added note: I now use coconut oil)
1 cup unsweetened grated or shredded coconut
1 cup walnut pieces 1 cup dried currants (added note: I now use chopped dried cherries and cranberries)
4 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325
Melt butter/oil, add agave nectar, extract and salt. Set aside. Mix oats and coconut in a large bowl. Pour nectar/oil over dry ingredients, mix until well combined. Spray 2 baking sheets with vegetable oil spray and spread half the mixture out each pan in an even layer. Bake. Stirring several times, about 25 minutes until mixture is a light golden brown. Add currants, or other dried fruit and chopped walnuts. Cool Completely. Can be stores in an airtight container for several weeks. Serve with skim milk, almond milk or low fat yogurt and some chopped apples, pears or bananas.
Pour melted butter and agave nectar mixture over oats
Spread in even layers on baking sheets
Turn several times during the 25 minute baking time to brown evenly