I’m always in such a good mood when I wake up on Friday mornings because I know it’s the weekend & I know I’ll get to spend tons of time with fam, NOT TO MENTION TONS OF TIME IN THE KITCH. Obvs! I also know that the weekend is the perfect time for you munchkins to experiment with some of my recipes after a really long workweek & that makes me happy! I mean, one of my 893742482402 goals is to feed you munchkins, to throw parties in your mouths & make your tummies dance like cray-cray!
And so, this FRIYAY morning, I started my day off RIGHT & by RIGHT, I mean by whipping up my quick & easy GLUTEN-FREE (& POSSIBLY VEGAN) HONEY ALMOND & DRIED APRICOT GRANOLA!
With just a few simple ingredients, this stuff is MAGICALLY DELISH! I’ve been experimenting with her for quite some time & I’ve FINALLY perfected her & now it’s time to share with you babies!
As all you munchkins know, organic store-bought granola packs a pretty freaking penny & often contains WAY TOO MUCH REFINED SUGAR! (YES, even if she is organic!).
Mine (A.K.A. THIS BABE), by the way, has NONE!!! & is much freaking cheaper than what you would buy at the store, especially since you most probably have all these ingredients on hand… somewhere in your pantries… maybe at the back if you don’t bake a lot, BUT I MEAN… AT LEAST YOUV’E GOT ‘EM ALREADY, RIGHT?
WHAT I ADORE ABOUT THIS BABY (I mean, what don’t I adore about her?) is that I use honey – it’s raw, organic, and clean & tastes better (not to mention, is better for YOU) than regular sugar!
OHHHHH & did somebody say coconut oil? Yep! Yep, I did!
OH & for that “ingredients-tease“… I’m talking: gluten-free rolled oats, sliced organic almonds, raw organic honey, pure organic vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, a hint of sea salt, COCONUT OIL & none other than organic unsweetened dried apricots!!!! That’s it. That’s all. How freaking clean & healthy, YET SO DELISH, does this sound? I know, right?
Ladies & gents, this is Kelly’s Gluten-Free (& Possibly Vegan) Golden Toasted Almond & Dried Apricot Granola a.k.a. Crispy-Crumbly-Crunchy-Naturally-Sweet-Nutty-Oaty-Wonderfulness-With-Just-The-Right-Amount-Of-Chewy!
BTW, I don’t know about you munchkins but THERE IS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT CRUMBLY, CRISPY, CRUNCHY, NATURALLY SWEETENED, NUTTY & OAT-Y GRANOLA WITH JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CHEWINESS FROM SOME DRIED FRUIT, THAT GETS ME GOING. Like legit, gives me a reason to wake up in the morning. I am not even exaggerating. I FREAKING DIE FOR GRANOLA. I DIE FOR IT. (DON’T WORRY. I don’t actually die. I’m still alive & actually, I’m alive & dreaming about tomorrow morning’s breaky that will MOST DEF be packed with this babe!!!!).
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, I JUST WANT TO DISCUSS DRIED APRICOTS WITH YOU MUNCHKINS! First & foremost, did you munchkins know that although the drying process degrades a fruit’s content of water-soluble & heat-sensitive vitamins, such as vitamin C, OTHER NUTRIENTS become MORE CONCENTRATED. As such, dried apricots will actually provide higher levels of most nutrients, ounce for ounce, than their fresh counterparts!
So what are these nutrients I speak of?
Let me explain!
These babies are super rich in DIETARY FIBER & they are ESPECIALLY RICH in soluble fiber, the type that dissolves into a gel-like substance & binds to fatty acids & promotes healthy digestion , as well as reduces cholesterol levels.
POTASSIUM FTW! While fresh apricots are rich in potassium, dried apricots contain even HIGHER amounts. AND, since the average American diet is LOW IN POTASSIUM, these babies can help contribute to providing you with the potassium fix you’ve been lacking! P.S. Potassium is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure!
The babes are also super rich in non-heme iron, contributing to preventing iron deficiency anemia!
AND LAST, BUT MOST CERTAINLY NOT LEAST… MY FAVE!!!! The babes are high in carotenoids & other potent antioxidant phytonutrients. In fact, dried apricots’ beta-caretone content makes them ESPECIALLY RICH in Vitamin A, providing nearly 47% of the daily value in just a half-cup serving!!! And, as I’ve mentioned before, vitamin A functions as an antioxidant & is ESSENTIAL for cell growth, immune system function & eye health!
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
- 2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats;
- ¾ cup of raw organic sliced almonds;
- 3 tbsp. of organic virgin coconut oil, MELTED;
- 3 tbsp. of raw organic honey (TO MAKE THIS BABE OF A GRANOLA VEGAN, sub the honey for some pure organic maple syrup!);
- 1 tbsp. of pure organic vanilla extract;
- 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon;
- A HUGE ¼ cup of unsweetened dried organic apricots, CUBED;
- A pinch of sea salt!
So how do you whip this BABE OF A GRANOLA up?
Let me explain!
- Preheat your oven to 350F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper!
- Combine the oats & sliced almonds in a MEDIUM mixing bowl!
- In a SMALL bowl, stir in ‘dat coco oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon & a pinch of sea salt! (P.S. You may find that you gotta work ‘dem arms a little more when mixing the wet ingredients if you choose to use raw organic honey like I did because it has a thicker texture & consistency than regular honey! WHATEVZ, YOU’RE GETTING IN AN EXTRA WORKOUT. I’m totz D, you?)
- Once your wet ingredients are combined, TOSS THEM WITH THE OATS & NUTS until the babes (a.k.a. ‘dem dry ingredients) are COATED AF.
- KAY, now that your oats & almonds are coated in your BEAUTIFULLY-SMELLING WET INGREDIENTS, spread into one layer on your baking sheet & then BAKE, stirring every 8 to 10 minutes, UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN & TOASTED AF (OH, NOT TO MENTION THE SMELL IN YOUR KITCH! But don’t get me started. I could go on for freaking hours. HECK, FOR DAYS UPON DAYS!), for about 20-30 minutes. Yes, my loves, THIS MEANS THAT YOU NEED TO RESET YOUR TIMER THREE TIMES. Sorry not sorry.
- At the last ten-minute-mark of your baking time, TOSS IN YOUR DRIED APRICOTS!
- TOWARDS THE END OF THE BAKING TIME, if you know what’s good for you, CHECK YOUR GRANOLA EVERY FEW MINUTES, unless you want over-browned granola… PAS DOWN, TOI?
- Once that timer beeps FOR THE LAST FREAKING TIME, let your granola cool on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes (ONCE AGAIN, I SAID TO LET IT COOL ON THE BAKING SHEET, BUT I DID NOT PREVENT YOU FROM DEVOURING
SOME… A BIT…A LOT… OF THIS YUMMINNESS WHILE IT’S COOLING!)
- Once cooled, store this wonderfulness in an airtight glass container for up to two weeks! (Yes, my loves, SHE LASTS LONG… & we all know what that means… it means it’s totally OKAY for you to double your batch & to eat this baby every freaking morning, knowing she’ll be FRESH AF & STAY DELISH!). Admit that’s a freaking dream come true. I KNOW. I KNOW.
- NOW, TOP SOME GREEK YOGURT or OVERNIGHT OATS with LOADS UPON LOADS of this granola OR SIMPLY DEVOUR HER AS IS (OR THROW HER INTO A BOWL & POUR SOME CREAMY, SILKY-SMOOTH ALMOND OR CASHEW MILK ALL OVA’ HER!).
OH & FOOD PORN!!!