Granola is one of those staples that either fails to rise to the task of morning nourishment, on par with a sad bowl of cold cereal, or comes in with flying colors. Growing up, my mom’s mystical granola was up there in the same league as blueberry pancakes or a well-executed breakfast sandwich. In college, I’d fend off hungry roommates from my coveted yogurt container filled to the brim with the crispy oats, pecans, and cranberries. This was the granola I knew best, and damn, was it good.
However, there came a point when I realized I couldn’t drive to New Hampshire every time I needed a granola fix and my wallet couldn’t subsidize $8 sacks of granola with barely enough contents for a week of breakfasts. Cue the Internet, and Cookie + Kate’s supremely simple and satisfying granola. It would be exaggeration to call this recipe life changing, but I will admit to it being mind altering. With this recipe in hand you can make yourself a two week supply of granola with all your favorite fixings in the perfect ratio (for me, that means heavy on the oats and dried fruit, light on the nuts and seeds) in under 35 minutes.
While my go-to combination is still pecans, dried cranberries, and a hint of cinnamon, I wanted to give you a variation more suited to the summer months. The turmeric and ginger give the granola a pop of color and an unexpected, but welcome, warmth beneath a blanket of tangy yogurt. The dried papaya and apricots could easily be swapped for your favorite fruits, but I enjoy the textural diversity of the chewy papaya and soft apricots against the crunch of the oat clusters and rich macadamia nuts.
coconut macadamia granola
Total time: 35 minutes (plus cooling for a few hours or overnight)
Serves: 15-20 portions
Source: Adapted from Cookie + Kate, “The Very Best Granola Recipe."
4 cups thick rolled oats
* ½ cup of honey gets you more crunch and glaze, but not in an overly sweet way. If you do want to cut back the AM sugar rush – this works just fine with 1/3 cup, but I wouldn’t use any less than that.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour the oats, coconut flakes, chopped macadamia nuts, turmeric, ginger, and salt into a large bowl. If your coconut flakes are oversized, break them into more manageable-sized flakes with your fingers. Toss the dry ingredients together with a spoon (or your hands). In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave to bring it to a liquid state (15 to 20 seconds will do the trick). Add the honey and vanilla extract, and whisk gently to incorporate with the oil.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is well coated. The granola will be a delightful yellow hue from the turmeric.
Spread the granola out in an even layer on the lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 26 minutes, stirring halfway through. In the meantime, chop up the papaya and apricots into bite-sized morsels.
Once lightly golden, take the granola out of the oven and let it cool completely on the baking sheet without touching it (important step to achieve your desired granola chunk-age). After the granola has cooled completely, sprinkle the papaya and apricots over the top and break up the sheet of granola into chunks to combine with the fruit. Store in an airtight container and revel in your newfound freedom from store-bought granola.
Enjoy with yogurt, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey.
This is going to make me sound like a terrible person, but maybe that will make me seem relatable. There is nothing worse (yes, I’m being hyperbolic) than unwelcome banana bread. You know, that slice of bread you feel socially compelled to eat and smile through each bite of the dry, walnut heavy, chocolate-less-ness – all while under the earnest stare of a co-worker or friend-of-a-friend?
It’s not their fault! If you’ve ever been exposed to banana bread in its full glory, there’s no turning back. For me, this banana bread elitism was a side effect of by raised by the goddess of baked goods. My mom turns even the most humble banana bread into a dessert you might crave enough to intentionally let those bananas go past the point of human consumption, just to have an excuse to make it.
This is my take on her recipe – still managing to be moist and desirable with coconut oil in place of the generous amounts of butter and the sugar reduced slightly to offset the sweetness of overripe bananas. Finely chopped pecans give it a subtle crunch and a healthy dose of chocolate chips make it ooze wonderfully when you take a slice.
Un-Snub-Able Banana Bread
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
3-4 overripe bananas*
* Disclaimer: the bananas pictured above are too yellow to yield a perfectly sweet loaf. I recommend using bananas that are nearly brown all over, but not quite to the point where they seem to be fermenting. If you for some reason need banana bread right now, and your bananas are still more on the yellow side, compensate by adding an additional ¼ cup of sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9”x5” loaf pan with butter or coconut oil.
Mash up the bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Once the bananas are the consistency of applesauce (i.e. few-no banana chunks), whisk in the melted coconut oil and sugar.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the banana mixture. Sprinkle the baking powder and salt evenly over the top of the mixture and fold in using a spatula (this is important to make sure the loaf rises evenly). Now, gently fold in the flour, and then the chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Try not to over-mix here to keep the bread nice and light.
Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and pop into the oven for 1 hour. Check the loaf with a toothpick – it will come out clean if the loaf is done. I find my loaves usually need another 10-15 minutes, but recommend checking after an hour to avoid accidentally burning/over-baking.
Once baked, remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Tip the loaf out and finish cooling on a wire rack – or slice right away and enjoy the hot bread and gooey chocolate chips with a hunk of butter melted on top, I’m not going to judge.