I’m sitting on the passenger seat, laptop on my knees, writing these words as we are driving to Montreal – is it even legal to use a laptop in a car? I’m not sure. But hey, five and a half hours is a fairly good amount of time when you have deadlines and a pile of work to do. So here I am. I haven’t seen my friends and family in almost two months and I miss them a lot, so this little trip back home is much needed. It gets me almost as excited as the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
This, is a really good granola recipe. I know, all granola recipes are good. But this one you guys.
Many people have their favorite, go-to granola recipe. One that they keep on coming back to every time. As much as I love homemade granola, I’ve never really been able to stick to one recipe. I’ve always been unfaithful and I pretty much try new combinations every time I make it, whether it’s switching the type of nuts, replacing buckwheat by quinoa, throwing in some dried fruits, using nut butter, mashed bananas or adding chocolate for an extra treat.
One thing remains though. One thing that is absolutely mandatory when it comes to granola: it has to be clumpy. Once you experience clumpy granola, you can never go back.
The clumpiness of this recipe is achieved by using two key ingredients: almond meal and coconut butter. Almond meal – or almond flour – is almost magical when it comes to making clumpy granola, as it forms a coating around the dry ingredients and helps them to agglutinate. I’m sure other types of flour would have a similar effect, but I like the nutty taste that almond meal brings. Coconut butter not only lends this granola its wonderful coconut-y flavour, but it also acts as a creamy binding agent – along with maple syrup – to help those little clumps stick together.
The result is a super delicious, crunchy granola, with big chunks throughout. It has a lovely coconut-y flavour and a satisfying bite that comes from the buckwheat, cashews and clumps. But beware, it’s addictive. You’ll want to it eat all day long, for breakfast, snack and dessert…which in my world is totally acceptable.
Wonderful coconut butter
If you’re not familiar with coconut butter, but you enjoy the taste of coconut, I swear you will fall in love with this stuff. Oh my gosh, it’s good. Coconut butter is rich, creamy, and totally addictive. Like coconut oil, coconut butter has all the wonderful health benefits of coconut. Its most famous component is lauric acid, a fatty acid that has incredible anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut have also been studied for their ability to raise metabolism and even potentially assist in weight loss.
Don’t confuse coconut butter and coconut oil. These are two different things and one should not be substituted for the other in most recipes because they don’t have the same texture and effect. The difference is that coconut butter is the entire coconut meat, which has been reduced into a puree. It contains both the oil and the solids. If you have a powerful food processor or high-speed blender and a bit of patience, you can make your own coconut butter by blending shredded coconut until it forms a puree. Otherwise, you can buy it in most health food stores or in the natural section of many grocery stores. I make my own coconut butter whenever I have the time, but I also like to buy it once in a while. When I do I go with this brand, which I really like.
I like to spread coconut butter on toasts, pancakes or waffles, use it in desserts, add it to smoothies, or let it melt slowly on a warm porridge. I hear it’s delicious in curry and soups too – I’m definitely trying this soon.
P.S. I’m planning a new cooking workshop, which will take place in June. Stay tuned for more details and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to be the first informed!
Notes: I served the granola with a pink strawberry almond milk – dreamy combo! Simply add 1 1/2-2 cups of strawberries (fresh or frozen) + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to your batch of almond milk, blend in a blender and strain. So good.
When opening a jar of coconut butter for the first time, you will notice that the oil tends to separate on top. Make sure to scoop both the oil and puree (not just the oil that’s on top).
- 2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 cup raw buckwheat
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup almond meal (you can make your own by grinding raw almonds in your food processor)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup melted coconut butter - about ¾ cup solid (also called coconut puree or coconut manna)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat, cashews, coconut flakes, almond meal and sea salt.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the coconut butter, stirring occasionally. Make sure you get ½ cup coconut butter once melted. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon to coat.
- Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and press with a spatula to make sure it is quite compact.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The bottom and edges should be golden. Flip the granola in big chunks using a spatula, and place back in the oven. Bake for another 12-15 minutes, until brown and crispy.
- Remove and let cool completely.
“Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong.”