Sometimes I have the best of intentions, but then... well, you know how it goes. Such was the case with my purchase of Salad People by Mollie Katzen nearly 3 years ago -- I wanted to be that mom who cooked with her preschoolers so that they'd develop an enthusiasm for cooking and healthy eating at a young age. Well, the kiddos finish 1st grade and Pre-K this week, and here I am opening up Salad People with her for the first time. This awesome book would probably still be sitting on the shelf if not for the urging of my friend, Anna, who told me we had to try the granola recipe. A month later, we did, and wow!We didn't stray too far from the recipe, being that I'm a Kitchen Catastrophe and all. I did skip the nonstick spray for the baking tray since I have one of those nifty silicone baking mats (which I highly recommend as it cuts way down on greasing pans!) For the 2 cups combined seeds and nuts I used about a cup of almonds, 3/4 cup of sunflower seeds, and 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds -- I'm all about cramming that healthy stuff in there when I can. I did have one ingredient switch that I think made a huge difference in the flavor: instead of canola oil, I used coconut oil. The smell and flavor was phenomenal! I know coconut oil doesn't work everywhere, but it sure works in this recipe. I think next time I might even try to cut down on the oil a bit, too.
Bug was my helper on this one -- she did great pouring in and stirring ingredients...
...as well as smashing it flat into the pan for baking.
And after 30 minutes: crunchy golden goodness!
Broken up, this filled 2 quart jars which I've been keeping in the freezer for maximum freshness. One jar is already gone as Other Half has pronounced this to be 10 times better than anything store-bought. I had dried currants to add to it after baking, but we've loved it plain.
If anyone else has used coconut oil in granola or has a link to a favorite recipe, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!