I don’t prefer this granola as much as my others: Healthy Orange Chocolate Chunky Granola, Health Apple Blueberry Chunky Granola, and others I haven’t made/posted yet. But Justin really enjoys it and it’s good to get some variety. I think my only reason for putting it on the bottom of my granola list is I broke down and bought packages of sweetened dried fruit (papaya and pineapple) because I could not find the unsweetened versions–once again upper Manhattan, stop sucking. Boy howdy, I do not recommend the sweetened versions. They’re just nasty. They don’t even taste like candy, they taste like dried up gobs of sugarized sadness.
3 cups rolled oats (no, you can’t use instant)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax seed
1/2 cup coconut (raw, unsweetened)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw)
1/4 cup almonds (raw)
1/4 cup papaya chunks (dried)
1/4 cup pineapple chunks (dried)
1 banana (mashed)
1/2 cup applesauce (I use unsweetened)
1/2 cup orange juice (I use Trop50)
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
Bake time: 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours
Preheat oven 300°
Add your oats to a large mixing bowl.
Followed by your whole wheat. This lets the granola get chunky, you can skip this step if you want that cereal granola.
Yeah flax seed is a little on the expensive side but it’s ridiculously good for you. A serving is only 2 tbsp.
Some people roast their coconut before they add it to their granola mix, arguing it brings out the flavor. But then they don’t roast their nuts, so I don’t understand the logic. I don’t roast anything before hand because we’re putting the granola in the oven and essentially roasting it anyway.
Add your sunflower seeds and chopped almonds.
Add your salt and mix. Now prepare your liquid mixture.
Add your applesauce to a small/medium sized saucepan. If you haven’t noticed I use unsweetened applesauce in pretty much all of my baking recipes. I use it in place of oil. I’m starting to go through the stuff like water…or oil, would be the more correct comparison.
Add your banana, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 (which is what one banana should give you) will do you just fine.
Add your spices and orange juice and mix. Pan should be on low heat, the point is not to boil or simmer, just get everything mixed well. In my other recipes I usually add 1 tbsp of sugar here, but because of the addition of banana I decided it was unnecessary.
Mix, making sure you don’t have any large lumps of banana. If you do, I don’t know use a whisk or something–you should have done a better job mashing your banana in the first place. Take off heat and add your vanilla.
Add your liquid mixture all at once and combine. Oops, someone forgot to listen to her own advice and mix her dry ingredients…drats.
Mix until you have no dry oats visible. I do a soufflé stirring action, you know, like a folding method…I don’t know, google it.
Mixture should clump in your hand.
Empty onto lightly oiled (or Pam, I’m sick of dealing with that nasty build up on all my bake ware so I just use oil) baking sheet and flatten with spoon or spatula.
Mixture should be flat and uniform as possible.
This is how flat mine is. If you can’t get it that flat on one sheet, I suggest you even it out over two. Or else you’re going to have to bake it for a crap load longer.
Sprinkle with your white sugar.
My other granola recipes are done in an hour, pretty much without fail. This one however can take a little longer because of the introduction of banana. If mine is not done at the 1 hour mark, I pull it out and break it apart in medium chunks (bigger than the finished product) and even it out again on the baking sheet. Checking it every 5-10 minutes. The granola should be pretty hard when you take it out of the oven, it’s not like it going to magically harden from soft oats. If you prematurely cool your granola, finding it didn’t harden like you hoped, no worries. Stick it back in the oven and your granola will never know you expected too much, too soon out of it.
When your granola is actually ready to come out of the oven, for reals this time, break it apart, add your fruit, and let it cool. Or you can add your fruit when you put it in your vessel, I just know I’ll forget to if I don’t add it now.
Make sure your granola is all the way cooled before you put it in your container. No one likes soggy granola, except those that do.