Made From Scratch: Chunky Coconut Granola

Welcome to my NEW series called Made from Scratch. Once a month, I'll be showing you how easy it is make commonly store-bought food items at home. The ones you could easily make with little effort and great results.

First in the lineup: Granola

Why make your own granola?

Commercial granola is filled with sugar and has added salt and preserving agents, The gourmet granola from your local bakery or specialty shop might not be as fresh as you would like plus it's super expensive for a small amount that will only feed yourself. By making your own you'll save money and get a better product. But the best reason, in my opinion, is the sense of satisfaction you'll get from making something by hand.

This granola is quick to make - it takes less than 10 minutes to prep, and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your cupboard!

This chunky granola is loaded with a tropical coconut flavour and tiny bursts of sweetness from dried blueberries. Not a coconut lover? No Problem. You can adjust the flavours to make it fit your own tastes. Olive oil can be swapped out for coconut oil and you can play with any combination of nuts and dried fruit. Just make sure to replace the exact quantity, otherwise your granola might have a hard time sticking together. 

You can use granola in a lot of different ways - a quick snack out of hand to satisfy your sweet tooth, paired with yogurt or milk for breakfast, as a topping over fruit, or even sprinkled on peanut butter and toast. The recipe makes a large batch, so there will be plenty to share with your family, a co-worker or a friend.

Things to Know Before Starting:

  1. To get the perfect chunky granola texture, you need to pack down the oats evenly into a rimmed baking sheet, making sure to fill the edges and corners before baking. Then, wait until the granola has cooled completely before transferring to a jar. This way, you'll get large clusters of oat goodness that are evenly cooked.
  2. Use a heavy bottomed, rimmed baking sheet. If you don't have one, simply double up your pan to prevent the bottom from getting too brown and your granola tasting bitter.
  3. Rotate the pan midway through baking to prevent the edges from getting too dark.
  4. Break up the dried cherries if using. I noticed that they tend to stick together in clumps when added to the oat mixture.

Baker's Notes:

This recipe calls for rolled oats, also know as old fashioned or large flaked oats.

The difference between oat types has to do with how they are processed. Rolled oats are lightly steamed, then flattened, and as a result, cook faster and have a lighter texture. Steel cut oats, sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats, are not pressed flat and therefore have a heavier, grainier texture. Steel cut oats make a very hearty oatmeal. Instant oats, on the other hand, are pre-cooked, dried, then pressed back into flakes - they're not to be used in baking.

If you enjoy this recipe, share it with a friend! You can also sign up to get more recipes and seasonal cooking tips delivered to your inbox using the form below. Find me on Instagram for more simple food ideas and scenes from daily life at @Marisacuratolo.