This nutrient packed granola has a hint of orange, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, cashews, almonds, and more. A perfect snack for athletes, or for those who want to eat healthy on the go.
It’s official, I’ve become a vegan hippie. How many times have I written about how I'm not a granola eating vegan hippie? A LOT! And now I've gone and done it, because I'm shoving handfuls of granola in my mouth as I write this. Does eating granola make me a hippie? Probably not, but it's making a mess of my floor as the loose stuff falls out of my hand. Oh well, it's so worth getting the vacuum out when I'm done.
What took me so long to jump on this crunchy train?! Who knows, but the real question is this; why do hippies get to corner the granola market? I mean come on, this stuff should be owned by athletes, like me. People who run, and lift weights, and play tennis and paddle, and ski, and do P90X and Insanity. WE are the people who need this nutty, fruity, chocolaty, grainy, protein, nutrient, calorie packed powerhouse snack! From here on out, I officially declare that granola is for crazy people like me!
Granola: The Official Food of Athletes.
Now that you know what’s what, let me tell you how I found myself in my kitchen on a snowy, subzero afternoon making orange coconut granola; a food that I always thought that I didn’t like, mostly because I’ve never met a granola bar that I liked (too hard, too sweet, too meh).
That’s what I thought. I was wrong.
As I was going through my pantry on that cold, snowy day, I realized that I had too many nuts, and nuts are expensive, so I needed to eat them soon or risk throwing money down the drain. I had unloaded half of a cabinet of stuff on to my kitchen counter when I realized that I had all of the ingredients for granola. Why would I think of granola if I thought that I didn't like the stuff. That's a very good question, one I don't have an answer for. Anyway, looking at all of those ingredients, which I loved, made me get it. Granola is a powerhouse of nutrients and protein, and an amazing source of energy, maybe if I made my own I’d like it?
Fast forward to an hour later and a little trial and error, and by Sally, I knew I’d done it. I made granola, and I liked it, I really liked it!! Get it, "by Sally," Sally Fields, her Oscar acceptance speech? Okay fine, lame. Moving on.
The toasted nuts, oats, and coconut are so crunchy and delicious. You’ll also find dried cranberries and vegan chocolate chunks, which is just enough sweetness to satisfy a sweet tooth, but not enough to give you a cavity. I also put a little pure orange extract in to brighten the nutty flavor, and I added hemp seeds for their essential fatty acids and omegas. To finish it I ground a bit of sea salt over the top and mixed it in. Each handful is filled with protein, fiber, omegas, and antioxidants. This is a great snack to carry with you if you’re on the road or need a pick me up at the office. Soooo much better than a trip to the vending machine.
I can’t stop munching on this stuff, and that’s becoming a problem, because it’s not the skinniest snack in the world, but it’s so damn good! My husband likes it too, Every time he walks through the kitchen he grabs a handful. It’s definitely time to put it in an airtight container and leave out one or two individual servings for each day, otherwise my athleticism may be compromised, if you know what I mean.
This orange coconut granola is a great snack for the kids. The tiny bit of chocolate will make them think they’re eating candy. Ha! Little do they know.
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Orange Coconut Granola
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter use another nut butter if you like – melt in a microwave for 1 minute or on the stove top.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
- 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup of vegan choclate chips – I use Enjoy Life brand
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl combine the oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, orange extract, oats, cashews, almonds, and hemp seeds and fold until completely combined. Pour on to the baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes and use a spoon to toss lightly. Bake for another 10 minutes and toss again. Put the coconut on top and bake for 1 to 2 minutes or until the coconut is a light golden color. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Once the nut mixture is cool return to a large bowl and fold in the chocolate chips, cranberries, and a small amount of ground sea salt.