Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mango Coconut Almond Granola

A few years ago, I got tired of buying a box of granola for $4 every few days because we eat it a lot, and I kept thinking about the cost per ounce, and how absurd it was that we'd maybe be able to get 8 bowls worth on our yogurt which ends up being like 50 cents per 1/2 cup, give or take. I knew it would be cheaper to make my own, especially since I have that magical item in my purse that allows me to shop like royalty; I'm talking about the CostCo card!

After some loose inspiration from a recipe in Real Simple, I doubled the batch so it would last us at least 2 weeks, not to mention I constantly alter ingredients, embellish a bit and switch things around as I'm inclined to do.

It takes me about 30 minutes to make about 11 cups worth of granola, and it's hard to estimate exactly how much that big ol' batch costs me, but I'm gonna guess it's about 10 cents per 1/2 cup. If I get really industrious, I'll write down the cost and quantities of raw ingredients next time I'm at CostCo, and do a cost analysis. But I'm making no promises.

This version is my most recent combination of ingredients.

8 cups oats
1 cup raw whole almonds (to be toasted and crushed)
1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut, broken up into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried mango, chopped up into fine pieces
1 cup maple syrup
4-6 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp dried ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly oil large cookie sheet (or two small ones) with coconut oil, or line with parchment paper.

In a big mixing bowl, pour in 8 cups of oats.
In a large measuring cup, such as a Pyrex, add 1 cup of maple syrup, and coconut oil, ginger, and salt. Microwave for 15-20 seconds until coconut oil is melted, and stir together. (If it's warm out and your oil is already liquid, just stir together.

Pour over oats, while stirring and turning until well coated. You may think you're done and then go to spread your oats on the cookie sheets and find a bunch of syrup at the bottom of the bowl, so keep stirring until you cannot find any liquid pooling in the bowl.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, checking around 10 minutes. If it's starting to brown, take it out, and toss it gently with a spatula, to turn all the oats over. Put the cookie sheet back in the oven for another 6-8 minutes until browned and crisping up. Remove, and let cool.

On a separate cookie sheet (or after transferring cooled off oats to a large container with an air-tight lid) spread out almonds and return them to the oven for 10 or more minutes, tossing once, until golden and aromatic. Let cool, and put into large zippered plastic bag, and crush with mallet or mug until broken into smaller pieces.

Mince up coconut and mango into small bits, and add to oats. Close lid to container and shake vigorously in a rolling motion until all ingredients are evenly distributed. (Shake before eating too so that all the ingredients don't settle.)



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