My favorite kind of granola is a crunchy, light as a feather cluster that pops in my mouth with the perfect balance of nutty and sweet. The real trick to achieve this consistency is the use of instant oats. They tend to stick together better. For an added crispness I include arrowroot flour. The result is more like a granola bar broken into pieces. Granola now reminds me of my New Years trip to Costa Rica. We went with Kula Yoga and stayed at Boca Sombrero in the Osa Peninsula.
Every morning, before our yoga class, we’d go to Casa Grande for a lovely spread of fresh cut tropical fruit like papaya, mango and pineapple accompanied by yogurt and granola. Aside from Oceana and Jillian’s sticky-sweet yoga classes, there were some other major edible highlights of the trip.
For one, I might as well have eaten Vanessa’s spa treatments by the spoonful. You can find her at Tierra Spa (firstname.lastname@example.org), a small peaceful hut situated along the river and the ocean. My favorite was her coffee scrub, don’t miss it, it stimulates and exfoliates the skin just perfectly. She’ll also sprinkle you with ylang ylang water, the blooms are plucked right off of the trees and the smell is heavenly.
For all of you Raw Chocolate lovers out there, find Samaritan Chocolate . It’s incredibly rich so you only need a little bit to satisfy a craving. The honey caramels are super chewy and happen to be my most favorite. I got to experience my first fresh cacao meat straight from the pod. Not the kind of experience you get to have everyday.
Which reminds me, cacao nibs are a lovely addition to granola. I tend to add the select dried fruits I have on hand in my pantry, along with nuts and my “spices of the moment”. Usually it’s ginger, cardamom and cinnamon which tend to be my favorites for granola. Occasionally I’ll throw in chopped candied ginger, for this batch I added grated ginger instead. You can grate it yourself if you don’t have it on hand in a jar from the Ginger People.
Lately , rather than yogurt, I’ve been accompanying my granola with fresh thick coconut milk from Organic Avenue, or my favorite Almond milk. Once out of the oven, be sure to let your granola cool so that it crisps.
3 cups instant oats
¼ cup arrowroot flour
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 Tablespoons cacao nibs
3 Tablespoons rice syrup
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup natural candied ginger, rough chopped (optional)
1 cup mixed dried fruits (figs, dates, unsweetened dried cherries)
Seasonal fresh fruit as an accompaniment
1 bunch mint (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small saucepan melt 1/3 cup coconut oil.
In a large bowl mix rice syrup, maple syrup and coconut oil. Add ground(or grated) ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and sea salt.
Mix in oats, chopped nuts, seeds and cacao nibs.
Add arrowroot flour to cover and spread onto parchment covered cookie sheet.
Bake 20 minutes and rotate adding dried fruits and candied ginger (optional).
Bake 5-10 more minutes until golden.
Let cool. Transfer to a medium bowl for storage. Serve with almond milk and fresh seasonal fruit.