So I am obviously on a granola kick since I figured out how easy and how healthful I can make it myself. Today's recipe takes on the flavors of the Mediterranean—with dried figs and apricots, a little cinnamon and coconut flakes. With the natural sweetness from the figs, I was able to reduce the maple syrup from the 1/2 cup that was in my Blueberry Maple Pecan Granola recipe to 1/3 of a cup. Otherwise, it is the same basic granola recipe as a few weeks ago, but with a Turkish flair.
So why make a granola with Mediterranean flavors? Have you been reading the news lately? A new study has confirmed that a Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to control your weight. Turns out fat is not your enemy, as long as it is healthy fat and in moderation. I've built on this theory by adding some other extremely healthful ingredients. Figs, including dried figs, are an amazing little super fruit. They are high in fiber, lower in natural sugar and calories than dates, and they are rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium. Dried apricots are high in vitamin A and C, as well as good sources of potassium and fiber. We have discussed ground cinnamon before and its amazing benefit of lowering blood sugar levels, as well as being high in antioxidants. Walnuts—where do I begin? This bad cholesterol lowering nut is high in omega-3 fatty acids and studies show it may also support brain health. We can all certainly use help in that area!
Get started by chopping your walnuts and dried fruit.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chopped coconut flakes. You will add the chopped coconut flakes to the mixture halfway through your baking.
Spread the granola mixture evenly on a lined baking sheet. Place in a preheated 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove, add the chopped coconut flakes and stir again. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes and remove again to stir. Place back in the oven for the last 15 minutes, finally removing to cool after an hour of baking. This process keeps your granola and fruit from burning.
Let it cool completely before serving.
Serve with a bowl of non-dairy milk or on top of soy or coconut milk yogurt.
Store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container...like it's going to last that long.
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
2 1/2 c. gluten-free rolled oats
3 tbsp. hemp heart seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. raw walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. dried figs, chopped
1/2 c. dried unsulphured apricots, chopped
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. coconut flakes, chopped
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl, add all ingredients except the coconut flakes. Use a wooden spoon to combine.
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the wet granola mixture onto the lined pan and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using a spatula, stir the mixture and level back out. Put back in the oven for another 15 minutes and repeat, stirring every 15 minutes. This helps to evenly bake and toast the granola.
After the granola has been in the oven for a total of 30 minutes, add the chopped coconut flakes and stir into the granola mixture. Return to the oven for another half an hour, stirring again at the 45 minute mark. When done, remove from the oven to completely cool.
Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.