Homemade Coconut Almond Granola

One of my children is honest. So honest. She tells me clearly what she likes and doesn’t like. Last week, while driving home from a family night on the town, she asked if she could “talk to me alone” when we got home. Yes, little woman. You can have anything you like if you persist in being this open and mature and downright splendid.

So we got home. She reminded me she’d made an appointment to speak. Took me upstairs and sat me on my bed. Then said,

“I get scared every night about carbon monoxide. So I pray and it makes me feel better.”

She was nervous and couldn’t look me in the eye. This was close to her heart and she was giving it to me aloud. Her lip quavered, her eyes watered. I was stunned by the beauty of her willingness to offer her vulnerability, even as she was afraid to admit it.

“I pray about it every night. And sometimes I’m afraid about the wind, too. So I pray about that.”

No. You can’t adopt her. Stop being jealous. She’s all mine and I shall  hoard her forever.

And then she said,

“And right before Christmas, I prayed  for all the poor people to be taken care of. And I think God heard it.”

At which point, I pulled her in my arms and  assured her she was safe, and loved, and listened to by the heavens. I then gave her great, sucking kisses. The sort where you try not to bite because you find the cupid-cheeked recipient so utterly delicious that you’d like to find a way to stick them in your soul and envelope them in your heart all at once.

My children teach me things. And the vulnerability that this little girl of mine so willingly offers reminds me of the gift it is to give yourself to others. I’m always trying to temper my love, trying to tiptoe around everyone’s schedules and preferences that I forget to just open myself up wide, wide, wide, and be raw and soft and show my honest neediness.

So, in the spirit of my daughter-teacher, I offer my soul to you today. I’m going to be honest.

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules are hard. Remember last week when I said this year on Cheeky Kitchen will be a devotion to the beautiful list of best food practices Pollan outlines in his book?

Well, I spent all week trying to think of one, single recipe that I could feed my family in the middle of insane schedule week with the added benefit of post-christmas blues. And, as you might have noticed from my lack of posting, I did not succeed.

But, I was so inspired by you. Your comments and excitement and goals remind me that we are all seeking a realistic way to be more healthy, more vibrant, and better fed, and to fit such food into our daily diets. So, I’m walking into this week, having recovered from the New Year’s lazies, ready to rock your freaking world. And mine.

I will be poring over cookbooks, health books, favorite websites, and grocery ads to pull together beautiful menus that us real world people can actually eat. Sometimes I might misfire. Sometimes I might downright fail. I’m scared to pieces I’ll be back to making sloppy joes for dinner by Wednesday, but I believe it’s possible for a person who isn’t a natural “cook” to make healthy, beautiful food that feeds body, mind, and soul. And so, the charge is set.

And granola starts us off.

And while we’re being totally transparent here.

O.M.G. How does eating ham, potatoes, cake, cookies, and fourteen ounces of candy canes per day equal five new pounds? W.H.A.T? Who  made this system up?

I have no idea. But you and me, baby. We’re gonna take this system down.

And by system, I mean bathroom scale.

And probably a dance floor. Let’s get down on one of those, too.

Print

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups finely shredded organic coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup raw almonds

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and organic coconut together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together to coconut oil, honey, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Drizzle the honey mixture over the oat mixture. Stir to mix until well coated. Add the almonds to the mix and stir once again.

Turn the granola onto your prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-25 minutes, stirring every four to five minutes to evenly cook the mixture. Once it's golden brown, you can pop it out of the oven and let it cool.

Serve by the tablespoon over berries and yogurt.

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20 Responses to “Homemade Coconut Almond Granola”

  1. 1

    Bree on January 9, 2012 at 10:46 am Reply

    Fantastic – I love granola but have not had good luck homemaking it yet. Thank you so so much!

    Might maple syrup work, too, since I’ve already got that and not brown rice syrup?

    Thanks for being honest. And super helpful & thoughtful in helping us all eat more mindfully!

    Love, bree

  2. 2

    Dayna on January 9, 2012 at 10:47 am Reply

    Sounds great! Pinned this on my Pinterest board :)

  3. 3

    Cookbook Queen on January 9, 2012 at 10:53 am Reply

    Oh that sweet girl!! Wish I could give her a giant hug. I love her thoughfulness and honesty.

    And obvs, I love your granola. Coconut? Perfect.

  4. 4

    Kate H. on January 9, 2012 at 11:22 am Reply

    What a sweet little angel. Even at a young age she knows who can erase all her fears! So sweet! Oh yeah and I love granola!

  5. 5

    Amy on January 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm Reply

    What a sweet young lady you have there. I’m trying to remember this year to shut out the crazy whirling of the world and watch for moments like that, even when they aren’t brave enough to mention them.

    And granola! I’m always so happy when I take the time to make homemade granola. It’s so simple AND so satisfying! It’s a favorite snack on yogurt for me and makes me feel so healthy and special and smart when I choose that over the Cheetos.

  6. 6

    Katrina on January 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm Reply

    Mmmm pure deliciousness!

  7. 7

    spicegirl on January 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm Reply

    I love Michael Pollan with all my heart. But man it’s hard to eat mostly plants.

    I’ve been making my own granola for awhile and am completely addicted. I’ll have to give this recipe a try, thanks for posting!

  8. 8

    leslie on January 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm Reply

    Ohhh, what a sweet little girl! I probably would have started crying.
    Love the granola!

  9. 9

    Cumorah on January 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Yes to comfort prayers. Yes to granola. And Holy Heavens YES to dancing. The funnest exercise hands down. Come with me someday!

  10. 10

    Bev on January 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm Reply

    You can do it! I am a vegetarian (10+ years now that is leaning into the omnivore diet once again) and I’ve been researching Paleo diets, which have resulted in lots of mentions of coconut oil. Seems lots of folks think this is a pretty healthy oil to use. I’ll have to research that a bit more but the granola with yogurt looks so delicious!

  11. 11

    ButterYum on January 10, 2012 at 6:03 am Reply

    Looks like great granola, but more importantly, your daughter is on the right track – way to go mom!

  12. 12

    Stacy on January 10, 2012 at 8:59 am Reply

    This look absolutely delicious. And your daughter, how precious is she?

  13. 13

    STH on January 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm Reply

    Brooke, I want to tell you a secret, too (psst, my boyfriend isn’t anywhere around, is he?) My deep, dark secret is that Sloppy Joes are one of my secret weapons in getting more veg into our diet. You can hide a HELL of a lot of veg in there with that sauce. Here’s the trick: use half the beef you normally would (make sure it’s the super-lean kind), brown it in the pan, then drain it on paper towels. Wipe out the pan and throw in a lot of finely chopped mushrooms (those are key for replacing the umami you’re taking out), red or green bell pepper, onion, carrot, zucchini–whatever you have. The easiest way is just to chop all the veg up in the food processor. Saute that in a little olive oil until tender and the liquid has evaporated. Put your beef back in the pan and make your Sloppy Joes like usual. Serve on whole wheat buns. If you can keep the kids out of the kitchen while you’re making it, I guarantee you nobody will know.

    Other secret weapons I have for getting veg into my meat-loving boyfriend: fried rice (made with brown rice and a little BBQ pork for flavor) and Shepherd’s Pie–he’s a Brit so a total sucker for this and if you make it with lots of veg inside and Colcannon on top rather than the usual mashed spuds, you’re getting a really nutritious meal.

    Best of luck to you, Brooke! You’ll find a way to make it work!

  14. 14

    STH on January 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Eh, sorry about the wall of text above–I kind of get excited about helping other people eat healthy. ;)

  15. 15

    Julie on January 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm Reply

    Am I right in thinking it’s 1/8 cup flax seed?

  16. 16

    Rebecca Jean on January 14, 2012 at 10:30 am Reply

    I’m with STH on this one. No shame in serving sloppy joes. I make ours with pumpkin or butternut squash puree. Some tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and a bit of stock. Onions and peppers too! Sometimes I even add shredded carrot. Michael Pollan would approve and your grandmother would too.

    I can’t wait to try your granola!

    ♥ Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

  17. 17

    Sarah on January 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm Reply

    “I’m always trying to temper my love, trying to tiptoe around everyone’s schedules and preferences that I forget to just open myself up wide, wide, wide, and be raw and soft and show my honest neediness.”

    Well said! Especially “honest neediness.”

  18. Pingback: Drooling Over | The Healthy Hostess

  19. 18

    Ashley Hoopes on January 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm Reply

    YOU*ARE*DARLING*AND*SO*IS*YOUR*DAUGHTER.

  20. Pingback: eat like your grandmother « life is better barefoot

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