Good morning sunshine! It is always sunny when you’re day begins with a bowl of homemade almond cherry granola. It’s hardly a recipe; just tossing a bunch of ingredients together like oats, nuts and dried fruit. But, once the baking begins, those same flat ingredients are transformed to crunchy, deeply roasted and extremely satisfying granola. It’s not even close to the stuff sold on a shelf. Of course, there are secrets….
Secret ingredient: Adding an egg white into the mix seems unlikely but it acts as a binder of the other ingredients giving the granola a glistening appearance and sticky, toffee-like texture without adding any extra sugar or fat.
About agave syrup: Also known as agave nectar because it’s an all-natural sweetener from the agave plant. Besides being wholesome, it’s lower on the glycemic index (releasing glucose slower as it’s digested). It’s also about 25% sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way.
About coconut oil: Until recently, the jury was out whether coconut oil was in fact a healthful cooking ingredient. But, coconut oil that gets a bad rap is hydrogenated, or chemically treated. Virgin coconut oil is the good stuff because, you guessed it, has not been processed. It’s virgin coconut oil that’s been used for hundreds of years in every part of the world where coconut trees grow. That’s a pretty good endorsement! Moreover, coconut oil adds a unique, sweet and nutty flavor especially in this recipe.
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut shavings
- 1 ½ cups roughly chopped almonds
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Place coconut and almonds on top of the foil and roast for 10 minutes while you put assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine whisk together the coconut oil, agave syrup, honey and egg white. Add the cinnamon and salt followed by the oats. Remove the coconut and almonds and add to the granola mixture.
- Place back onto baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, flipping granola half way through. Add cherries, flip again and bake another 10 minutes.