Warning – this post is not gluten free!
If you haven’t noticed, I like my food to taste as indulgent as possible. I am definitely one of those people that “lives to eat” rather than “eats to live”. I think most foodies are. It is a definite balance though, with pretty strict portion/calorie control and trying to have a fairly active lifestyle, so that I don’t feel like I ever have to restrict myself from taste or flavor. Some things I eat are totally healthy. And others are purely indulgent. I think I would put this granola in the indulgent category for sure.
Mmm granola. Have you ever had molasses granola before? If not, I HIGHLY recommend it. This was more like eating candy than it was eating granola. Completely crunchy, and completely sweet, I think breakfast is going to be the highlight of my day for a while
I based this recipe off of this cocoa-molasses granola recipe that i found over on Librari[d]an. I made a gazillion changes (ok, not quite a gazillion, but a few), so am posting my adapted recipe here.
Unfortunately this is not gluten free, because I am too cheap to spend the $$$$ on gluten free oats. They do exist though. If you buy gluten free oats, this granola should be celiac friendly.
2 cups of oats
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tbs. cocoa powder (not unsweetened)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 275F. Mix oats, coconut, almonds, and seeds in a large bowl and then lay out on a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a generous helping of salt, and bake about 15 minutes – take out just before it starts browning and return it back to the original bowl. Set oven to 300F.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (up to the cinnamon) to a small pan. I found that by stirring alone, I could not get the oil to incorporate into the rest of the mixture, so applied a little heat (medium) for a few minutes while stirring rather vigorously until the mixture was completely homogenized together.
3. Gradually add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry, until it is well incorporated. I felt that the granola was fairly well coated with only about 2/3 of the liquid mixture, but decided to add the rest anyways. It probably would have made for a shorter baking time if I had stopped then, but that’s ok
4. I kept the temperature low for the granola (the original recipe said to bake at 350F), because I was really worried about all the sugar in the mixture burning before the granola was done. Because I used a lower temperature, I only turned the granola every 15 minutes instead of every 10, and the total baking time was closer to an hour. I could tell when it was done because our home was really fragrant with the smell of the baking granola, it was so enticing! The granola had just started to really harden a bit and that’s when I knew to pull it out.
5. I turned the granola one last time, and then let it cool for a good hour. Removing it from the pan was a trick, I used a fork to get under it and pull it off the metal baking sheet, since it was all caramelized and hardened. Note – this can make a mess. I also used my fork to break up the large pieces into smaller ones, so that they would be more manageable when eaten. This was cool though because my granola has all these yummy clusters in it. Add your cooled granola to a large bowl, and toss in the dried cranberries. Make sure the cranberries are evenly mixed with the granola, and store in a container far away from reach so you don’t eat it all at once