Coconut-Almond Granola.

Recently my boyfriend decided that he wanted to start snacking on yogurt and granola, so in response I've been honing my granola chops. My first attempt was too complicated and included quinoa and crystallized ginger and pumpkin puree and molasses, and in the end none of the delicious ingredients mattered because my stupid oven fried the stuff almost immediately. Let's say it was very dark brown and I'm the only one who ate any of it. Someday I'll make a gingerbread-inspired granola that I'm happy with.

But for now, simplifying is the name of the game. Here's what I came up with in my most recent attempt, and the results are pretty sweet and addictive.

Coconut-Almond Granola
Preheat your oven to 300. If your oven runs hot, like mine seems to, try 275 instead. If I were a more diligent cook, I would have a thermometer to help me determine the actual temp of my oven and you would get more precise instructions.

Mix dry ingredients together in a big bowl:
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup ground rolled oats (you can do this in a food processor or coffee grinder)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond meal (don't sweat it if you don't have any. I had some from making almond milk awhile back)
1/4 cup soy protein powder (always looking for stealth protein)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds--mine were slivered, but any old cut will do
2 t cinnamon

Melt the wet ingredients in a little saucepan over medium heat just until bubbly:
1/2 c virgin coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar (this produces a pretty sweet granola. Next time I'll cut down to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup water

Remove wet ingredients from heat and stir in:
1 t almond extract
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt

Let the wet ingredients cool a bit, then dump over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Spray two 11 X 17 jelly roll pans with cooking spray and distribute the mixture evenly over the two pans. You can squeeze the mixture together to form delicious chunks. Toast for about a half hour, but check frequently (every ten minutes, at least) and turn the granola to keep it from burning. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 8.5 cups.