Monday, February 17, 2014

Coconutty Cranberry-Apple Granola -- 100% Grain Free

This weekend I put together a quick granola to be used to top Greek yogurt with or simply as a snack. I wanted something not too sweet, but with just a hint of sweetness. If you like sweeter granola, just increase the amount of sweetener used. I had a package of unsweetened diced dried apples (by Bob's Red Mill) and they are a bit chewy, similar to raisins. I also added some freeze dried unsweetened cranberries that I picked up at Trader Joes. They can be softened slightly if desired by soaking for a few minutes in water before added to the granola mixture. I used unsweetened applesauce as the base for the "goo" that helped coat the fruits, nuts, seeds and coconut as well as adhere the sweetener, cinnamon and maple flavor to everything. It turned out great. To substitute for the oats typically used in most granola mixtures, I used large flakes of unsweetened coconut (by Bob's Red Mill) instead. I began by baking the granola mixture after pressing it in a 9 x 13" baking pan to help it stick together a bit as it toasted and then allowed it to cool a bit before transferring to a cookie sheet (I broke it up a bit and spread it out to allow it to bake, crisp up and toast a bit more. This helped create a mixture of coated seeds and nuts along with some small granola clusters. I enjoyed it sprinkled atop of Greek yogurt yesterday, allowing me to "chew my breakfast". It's very simple to put together and you can use your favorite combination of nuts, seeds, fruits, etc. I snapped a few photos for you to see below as well as the super easy recipe. Enjoy!

Coconutty Cranberry-Apple Granola -- Grain Free


2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (large flakes)
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup diced dried apples, unsweetened
1/2 cup freeze dried cranberries, unsweetened, optional
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 small container from a 6-pack)
1/4 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons Swerve confectioners style sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon (or regular cinnamon)
Dash Celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon natural maple flavor, optional
1 to 2 tablespoons additional Swerve or other granular type sweetener, optional


In a large bowl, combine coconut flakes, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, diced apples and cranberries. In a small sauce pan or skillet, melt butter and coconut oil over low-medium heat; stir in applesauce, sweetener, cinnamon and salt. Bring mixture to a boil; remove from heat and stir in vanilla and maple flavor. Pour mixture over coconut and nut mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is evenly coated.

Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray (or use non-stick foil). Spread moistened granola mixture in pan and press down firmly with a rubber spatula.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees F and bake an additional 15 minutes until light golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes; carefully slide "block of granola" to a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet. Using a spatula or large spoon, break into pieces (leaving some larger chunks) and spread out on cookie sheet; return to 300 degree F oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown (to complete drying out and crisping). If desired sprinkle hot granola with additional sweetener. Cool completely and store covered in an airtight container. Yields 6 to 7 cups granola.

Note: Granular sweetener can be powdered in a small "Magic Bullet-type" blender or other small blender for a few seconds to make a confectioners style sweetener. If a softer cranberry is desired, briefly soak/reconstitute cranberries in a small amount of water for 3-5 minutes and drain. If a sweeter granola is desired, increase amount of sweetener to liquid mixture before combining with dry mixture.



unter der laterne said...

GG, I hope that you are doing fine! Are you getting more sleep now?
The ingredients in this Granola look so beautiful! I especially like the coconut chips, because I eat them instead of a cookie. Where do you buy your *Bob's red mill products*? One can find them all over the place. It is a good company, to be sure! Do you buy directly from his website?

Now I have to watch *Ice dancing*!
I lived in New York City and
I used to skate at night in New York's Central Park , it was absolutely magical with snow laden trees and the park so quiet with the blanket of snow !

A wonderful and unforgettable memory .

I will make the Granola tomorrow!
Thank you GG.Take good care! Barbara

CyberSis said...


Wow ... am I ever going to enjoy this! Looks like the "real" thing ... only yummier! :-)

We are working on *another* snow storm tonight. Happy to say that it doesn't look like this one is headed your way. We're in for a warm-up and *slush* after that and then back into the deep-freeze. Ugh! The good news is that they are no longer calling for torrents of rain this week ... that would have resulted in a lot of flooding in many areas due to frozen ground unable to absorb the rain, as well as storm drains covered over with ice and snow. Hummm ... I wonder what's going to happen when spring finally arrives and all this stuff starts melting at once! We shall see ...

Best of luck to you this Wednesday!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara -- the only Bob's Red Mill ingredient I had to order was the dried diced apples but the other products I can find locally most of the time -- for some reason not all at the same store but collectively I can find most of them. I picked up the apples from Amazon. I have a package of dried blueberries, too of his and can't remember where I got them -- maybe Amazon or direct (I got them almost a year ago). P.S. I did not soak my cranberries -- but they got toasty -- I like them but felt others might prefer a very brief soak beforehand. Wow...I bet skating at Central Park with snow all around was gorgeous! You have gotten around, haven't you! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- I enjoyed it on my yogurt and some last night as a little snack with tea. I did not make mine very sweet so others might prefer it sweeten a bit more. And all the seeds, nuts, fruit can be swapped out for what you have or prefer. Wow...sounds like you are in for another doozey of a storm -- thankful it isn't headed our way though! Take care! :-)

Leslie P said...

I made this today and it turned out great. I dried my own cinnamon sprinkled apples in the oven yesterday instead of buying them that way. After track practice today my son had a handful of granola in his yogurt and loved it. I chuckled because he 'hates nuts'! Thanks for another yummy recipe! Leslie

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Leslie -- So glad you liked the granola -- especially your son -- too funny about him not liking nuts -- I'm guessing he didn't realize they were in there? How smart to make your own dried apples, too. How long did you oven dry them? When I finish my bag of dried apples, I may give that a try, too. I bet it was even better with your own apples! I really enjoyed it most as a topping for my yogurt -- it makes it "chewable"! ;-)

Leslie P said...

Hello again GGC - Just wanted you know that I continue to make this and it continues to make me happy!! It's worth turning the oven on even in 100 degree weather (: Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! Leslie

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Leslie!

I'm so happy you are still enjoying this granola recipe. Thanks for reminding me about it -- I need to make it again soon, too.

samudra said...

just made this for first time yesterday. was worried that it wasn't going to turn out because it was still so soft after the first 30mins. i left it in another 5,then another 5 before removing to cool. still it was NOT a 'block of granola'. after cooling 10-15mins, i returned to oven for another 15mins. still it was not dried out or crisp.
after cooling for several hours, i put it in containers. i must say it turned out to be delicious, and i'm eating it by the handfuls!!!

i am curious about some apparent discrepancies in ingredients and directions. you call for swerve confectioners style but then say 'or other GRANULAR sweetener'. at end you also call for granular sweetener. does it matter which type?
in the directions, there's no mention of when to add swerve. i assumed it was w/applesauce cinnamon and salt?

i used baking sheet in first place (vs 9x13pan), and still it filled entire sheet. after cooling, i moved half to a second cookie sheet. it was still very loose, not a 'block'..but in the end the taste was delicious. all's well that ends well, but interesting how different the process goes for different folks.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Some of your situations (not crisping as quickly as mine did)...I don't have an answer for. Don't know if it depends on the humidity, the oven type (gas or electric) or what.

As far as the sweetener type, it probably would work either way (confectioners or granular)...however some folks complain about the "grittiness" sometimes found in the granular sweeteners. When I referred to "or other granular" it simply meant do NOT go out and buy confectioners if you don't have it (see my note at the bottom of the recipe about grinding in a Magic Bullet to create powdered). Lastly, you are correct about the omission of sweetener when adding in the ingredients (it goes between the applesauce and cinnamon) and I have added it other reason other than a mistake on my part. I stay up late writing these posts and recipes up most nights so it happens.

Glad you enjoyed the end results though. Thanks for the catch on the sweetener. :-)

samudra said...

GG, that granola is just toooo good. i have already polished off entire batch in 3 days simply snacking on it.

it's amazing to me how you manage to come up w/these fabulous recipes on top of your busy life. i salute you for your offerings and your responsiveness to feedback. what a treasure you are!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Thanks so much. So glad you enjoyed the granola. I actually enjoyed using it to top yogurt with. I need to make more of it soon. Thanks! :-)

grammylami said...

GG, This looks amazing! This would keep for a week or two I am hoping. I am going on a cruise and am looking to take a few things with me that are grain/sugar free. I have not really had any problems on past cruises avoiding grains, however now I have developed and intolerance to soy and soybean oil, I am very concerned as to what they will use on the grills to cook meat, eggs, etc. If it is vegetable oil I will be in trouble. I am hoping to take a few goodies with me to help me through. So many of the goodies made with almond flour require refrigeration and I will not have access to that. :( I was able to eat out with ease when I was just grain free, but the soybean oil issue has changed that! Most restaurants use it and even when you think you are having butter, it could be a butter/soybean oil blend! It has been a game changer for me. I am thinking of taking this granola that I can top yogurt with for breakfast.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi grammylami,

As long as you keep it sealed tightly in a Ziploc bag, it should last nicely for you. I'm assuming there will be humidity involved on your other than that, it should keep well. Wow, I never thought about it, but I bet you are right with soybean oil being used more than we realize when eating out. I wonder if you took your own little bottle of olive oil if they would allow you to use it and/or use it to make say a piece of chicken just for you? I wonder if there was someplace you could call at your cruiseline to inquire. Hope you enjoy it...but even more so, I hope you have an awesome time on your cruise! My son just got back a couple days ago from a short 4-day cruise. He had a blast. :-)

Leslie P said...

Hi GG - Here I am years later still making your granola! Many thanks :) Leslie P