Lover's Tropical Granola
Here in tropical Mexico, we can find all these great ingredients to make a mean batch of healthy chunky fruity granola. My sweetheart, who is a connoisseur, is now the in-house granola-maker. This flexible recipe is his favorite.
1/4 c chia seeds (or flax seeds)
3/4 c rolled oats*
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c muscovado sugar (or sucanat or packed brown sugar)
1/2 c unsweetened apple juice
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon (3 tsp Mexican cinnamon, it's milder)
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 - 4 c old fashioned rolled oats*
1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 - 1 c pecans or almonds (roughly chopped)
1/4 - 1/2 c pepitas
1 c raisins (or chopped dates or dried figs)
1/2 c chopped dried mango (or other dried fruit)
*for gluten-free use gluten-free oats
Grind the chia and the 3/4c oats (easy to do in a coffee grinder) and set aside. Put coconut oil, sugar, juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt into a large pot over low heat, and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in ground chia and ground oats - mix until well incorporated. Add the oats, coconut, nuts, and pepitas and mix well.
Line one large baking pan or two jelly roll pans with silicone mats or parchment paper. (Better to use 2 pans, but we only have room for 1 in our oven.) Spread granola evenly onto pan/s. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 for about 40 - 80 minutes, stirring about every 10-15 minutes, or until evenly toasted and golden. (The time will vary depending on if you use 1 or 2 pans, what kind of pans you use, the way you line the pan, and how hot you oven is.) For the last 5-10 minutes of baking, mix in the raisins. Keep your eye on the granola as it browns fast towards the end of baking. After you pull your granola out of the oven, while it's still hot, mix in the dried mango.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then store in an air-tight container.