Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Maple Coconut Granola

I've always thought it's a little weird, resolving to eat better and get healthy right as we enter the deepest part of winter. There are so few really fresh vegetables available in January (and February and March, here in Boston anyway), and it seems clear to me that eating more fruit and vegetables and less crap is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to get healthy.

And with that, I bring you the pomegranate. I'm sure you've seen it before (at least in a bottle); it's a weird little fruit. You eat the seeds which fill the inside, not the nasty white pith that holds them. And they're blood red, and they stain. Oh, and they're a superfood, with higher levels of antioxidants than tea or red wine!
But about that staining thing. There's no way to get out of taking that initial cut into the fruit, and you're going to get red juice on your cuttingboard, and you have to sort of worry the seeds out of the pith with your fingers, which is a good way to get them to burst and get red juice all over you and your kitchen. So here's a trick I learned from Alton Brown: pick the seeds out underwater. They sink, and the pith floats. Ta-da! (Word to the wise: don't use frigid cold water from your tap if you want to keep your fingers. Lukewarm, please.)

But how do you eat the pomegranate seeds once you have them? You can toss them on a salad, or in cous cous or rice pilaf, use them to garnish a cocktail, or, like me, you can top your yogurt + granola breakfast with the little gems.

Maple Coconut Granola
adapted from Alton Brown

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups other nuts - I used a mix of pecans and cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff, please)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup raisins (you could add other dried fruit, chopped to raisin size, if you like)

Preheat oven to 250F.

Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar (do this in a large bowl so you can toss it all around. Combine maple syrup, oil, and salt in a measuring cup and add to oat-nut mixture, tossing to distribute syrup evenly. Spread mixture out on a large sheet pan (or two).

Bake at 250 for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes so it browns evenly. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then stir in raisins.


  1. You bring up a good point, regarding resolutions ...

    I, however, resolve to eat more granola. :o)

  2. Ha, that's awesome! I'm doing project 365 this year, so it sort of feels like a resolution, but my real resolution is to floss. Dental floss, five times a week, not every day, because sometimes I am too tired.

  3. I still have never made granola... too many store-bought boxes! Maybe that should be my resolution ;)

  4. aah, i have been meaning to make granola for well over a year now. need to get on that ;) after the cookies!

  5. Dri-spot, you know what you should consider re: granola healthiness in wintertime? Coming up with a recipe that would convert easily into an oatmeal! (Ok, you can obviously just put hot milk on this granola, but, I mean like self-made "instant" oatmeal)

    Also, I wish you were here in France with me so you could do recipes with ingredients easily found in the hugely unmanageable Carrefour shopping center.

  6. Great recipe!

    I made some last night and had it this morning for breakfast. Very tasty.

    My resolution for 2010 was to eat healthier (emphasis on 'ier')

    Also, you forgot to write the part about when you add the raisins.

  7. Thanks, Tom! I edited the recipe to add the raisins.