You may remember from that time we drooled about coconut granola that I have been searching for the perfect, chunky granola. Well, I have finally done it. It took me months of research (inspired by months of cravings), but finally, success! I have figured out how to make a delicious granola packed with the perfect balance of oats, crumbs, and chunks.
Let me tell you, the process was quite intensive. Each recipe I reviewed promised the chunks I have always adored. Upon further inspection, however, it became clear that these same recipes often provided only that. What’s more is that these same recipes often insisted that the only way to achieve this kind of granola is to use egg whites. While I salivate at the thought of the ingredients clumping together into gorgeously golden nuggets, I don’t want just granola chunks. I want the whole experience! Plus, having been a vegan for several years, and having had access to some pretty excellent granolas in that time period, I knew egg whites weren’t the only way. I knew it was possible to achieve a balance between chunks and oats, and I knew it could be done without animal products (except, of course, honey).
Then, quite simply, I figured it out. And the next day I brought some to work (planning to sprinkle it atop my yogurt at lunch), where I taste-tested just a pinch and ended up covertly eating the whole bag at my desk. I impressed myself so much with this batch of granola that I sought out one of my coworkers and bragged about my awesome recipe.
But since bragging is never attractive, I suppose it’s time I stop and explain how to make it.
Cranberry-Hazelnut Granola (with everything but the kitchen sink)
Makes about 5 cups of granola
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp water
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice (I use Rice Krispies)
½ cup coconut shavings (i.e., coconut chips, not flakes)
¾ cup raw hazelnuts pieces
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried banana chips, broken into pieces
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine vegetable/canola oil, ¼ cup honey, maple syrup, and water.
- Add oats, rice, coconut chips, hazelnuts, cinnamon, ginger and salt and stir until combined.
- Pour into a lump on a baking sheet and spread out into an even layer, so that the mixture is about 1 inch thick.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring gently after 15 minutes.
- At the 25-minute mark, remove from oven and drizzle additional 2 tbsp of honey atop granola, folding into the same inch-thick pile to incorporate.
- Bake for final 5 minutes, then remove from oven and cover with a paper towel to cool.
- Let granola cool completely this way before removing the paper towel and gently breaking the granola apart into chunks.
- Gently mix in cranberries and banana chips, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.