Healthy is a Lifestyle.

Okay, the name is a little cheesy, but hear me out. I’ve been posting so many beautiful photos of Vermonts foliage, I was inspired to create a granola recipe that resembled those beautiful fall scenes. I think I got close! I’m a dork. A proud one.

So, this recipe just might be my favorite thing on my whole blog. It’s sweet but not overly sweet. Its savory, but not at all salty. It’s crunchy in texture, but the added apricots give it a perfect chewy factor also. So simple to whip up! Its also beautiful in color between the dark pecans, the green pumpkin seeds, the gray sunflower seeds, the toasted coconut, and the orange apricots!

You could totally mix in your own favorite nuts/seeds/dried fruit in place of what I chose. You could even go crazy and add some mini dark chocolate chips or sweet cacao nibs (but do it at the end so it doesn’t melt while baking). Really, the possibilities are endless.

coconut sugar

I strongly encourage using quality ingredients for maximum health benefits and flavor too. I used unrefined organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut chips, high quality maple syrup and organic fair trade coconut sugar by Laird Superfood.

Couple things to note: I use maple syrup because I like clusters in my granola. You could also use honey.. but I find I don’t get as many clusters as I do with maple syrup. Also, pack the granola on close together so that you can get these clumps, but not so tight that it doesn’t baking evenly. ‘I found that using a half baking sheet works perfectly. And then fill the sheet pan to the end of all the side edges. You can top off  your morning coconut or Greek yogurt with a spoonful or two, throw some in a little snack baggie for a long car ride, put some in your back pack for the hiking trail adventures, and a little in your kids lunches. I mean, you could even go wild and put some on your green salad in place of candied pecans, or on top of ICE CREAM! I mean, fruit. Errr… on top of fruit.

Whatever you choose… I hope you FALL IN LOVE with this granola as much as I have.

with love from me to you,

Allyson

 

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten free granola)

1 ¼ cup Raw Pecans (1 cup kept whole, 1/4c chopped)

1 cup Organic unsweetened coconut chips

1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup dried apricots, diced

½ cup melted coconut oil

½ cup good quality real maple syrup

¾ cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fine Pink Himalayan salt

 

*totally optional mix-in – ½ cup sweet cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir to blend.

Pour in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well until every oat and nut is lightly coated. Pour the granola onto your pan and use a large spoon to spread in an eaven layer. Bake until golden, about 23 minutes total.

At the half way point (at about 12 minutes) add in the coconut chips and with a large spoon, carefully fold into mixture. Press out again to edges of the pan and pat down and then place back into oven for the remaining time.

 

Let the granola cool completely, undisturbed, before breaking it into pieced and stirring in the dried apricots (and this is where you would add the chocolate if wanted)

 

Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. You could even freeze it safely in a sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months.

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