We’re continuing on with our little breakfast series here on Vegan Yumminess. Thanks for joining us!
Today, I’ve got a little story for you. It’s a story about granola and me–our love/hate relationship, if you will.
Once upon a time, when my parents went vegan in the early 90s, my dad learned how to make granola.
Now, folks, I don’t mean just any granola. My dad made GRANOLA–in the biggest, boldest, baddest, crunchiest, nuttiest, date-iest (new word?!?!), healthiest sense of the word.
Now, imagine your average 6-10 year old. Do you envision any half-normal child wanting to eat such a granola?
Well, I was no exception. Not. A. Fan. of dad’s granola. (Sorry, Dad!) Kix and Cheerios were definitely more up my ally back in the day. (Secret: I still like Kix and Cheerios.)
As life would have it, we went on a little family vacation/mission trip sort of thing to Indonesia–Bali, Java, Sumatra–we hit ’em all. If you’ve ever traveled to a developing country (vacation or not), you know that you’ve got to be careful what you eat–especially when it comes to seemingly healthy and vegan, raw fruits and vegetables. If you don’t, you’ll get sick.
So, what do you suppose my parents brought along for us (a family of 6) to eat *almost* every morning for breakfast? That’s right–Dad’s fancy pants granola (with Better than Milk soymilk powder + water). What do you suppose we ate for lunch or supper if we were traveling and couldn’t stop? That’s right–Dad’s granola. We kids were less than enthused. But, we were taught not to whine too much, so we didn’t.
However, when we got home from the trip, you can only imagine how much I wanted to eat granola.
Try not at all…
Basically, my relationship with granola started out pretty bad. (Not because my dad’s granola really tasted all that bad, it was just too much too soon for my kiddish taste buds, I guess?)
But then, one fabulous day, when my family was living in North Carolina, we discovered Earth Fare. It’s a great big health food store, kind of like Whole Foods or Wild Oats. In the bulk foods aisle at Earth Fare, my dad made the most amazing discovery: cherry vanilla granola–a.k.a. cookie granola. It was AWESOME.
We kids thought we were in Heaven. Mom and dad bought the stuff in big bags and let us eat it for every breakfast. In fact, dad didn’t really even bother making his super healthy granola for awhile. Life was very good.
Around that time, I went away to a Christian boarding academy and became the appointed granola maker. I made granola every weekday in commercial-sized batches. One time I almost got mixed up between the bottle of vanilla extract and a bottle of soy sauce –but we’ll save that story for another time.
Suffice it to say, folks, I’ve been around the block when it comes to granola–healthy granola, cookie granola, and *special* made-by-a-14-year-old cafeteria granola.
Today, I bring you normal granola. It has just enough fruit and nuts to make it hearty, and just enough sweetener to trick your taste buds into becoming addicted to it. (For real!)
I’m in love.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (King James Version)
Note: This recipe was adapted from a recipe given to me by my very good friend Rebecca (Thanks, Rebecca!!!).
Vegan Fruit and Nut Granola
- 2 rimmed baking sheets
- parchment paper (or silicon pan liner)
- mixing bowl
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups quick oats Or you can use rolled oats pulsed in the blender for about 5 seconds.
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cups chopped pecans
- 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals (or granulated sugar)
- 1/2 cup dried apricot
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Mix oats, coconut, and nuts together in a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a separate container, mix together melted coconut oil, sugar, and water. Then, pour wet ingredients into your large bowl of oats. Mix well, utilizing your hands, if needed.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and spread oat mixture evenly over both pans.
- Bake granola at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Allow granola to cool, completely, then add your dried apricots, cranberries, and raisins.