Coconut Macadamia Granola with Blueberries Recipe
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December feels like it is flying by already, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure I’ll blink and it’ll be Christmas. I just blinked… It isn’t Christmas yet, is it?
The cold weather and grey skies up here have definitely made me crave lots of carbs. So I’ve been spending a ton of time in my kitchen making granola the last few weeks. It’s much healthier than cookies and doughnuts but still satisfies my sweet tooth. In that process, I came up with a simple healthy granola recipe I’m sure you are going to love. Say hello to my newest creation: Coconut Macadamia Granola with Blueberries!
Plus, I’ll admit I have a hidden agenda in making so much granola. I like to give food as holiday gifts to my friends, associates, and family. And what better way to say “Happy Holidays!” than with a gourmet granola like this? It’s something that almost anyone can enjoy and it’s more unique than gift cards.
Never thought to make a homemade holiday food gift of granola?
Granola is pretty safe for almost any dietary restriction and easily adaptable so that it can work for anyone with a common food allergy. It’s pretty easy to whip up and it makes the kitchen smell fantastic. And let’s not forget that it is amazingly delicious too!
And even if you don’t plan to use this as a gift for the holidays, this granola might possibly ruin you to buying store bought granola ever again.
So let’s jump into the kitchen and get started!
Tips to Making Chunky Granola
I’ve been making homemade granola for going on six or seven years now and the one thing that took me forever to figure out was how to achieve that chunky granola like you see at the grocery store. For some reason every sweetener and baking time I tried never would produce a granola that had big chunky pieces. Instead, it would always fall apart and look like a bowl of ordinary rolled oats. Really good tasting oats but still oats. I’m not even sure by this point why I cared so much but I always have. Well, about a thousand batches later, I finally figured it out!
First, liquid natural sweeteners really work the best. There are plenty of options out there for you to use but I have found both maple syrup and raw honey work the best and produce the best flavor too. Talk about serendipity!
Both these sweeteners are some healthier options out there as they contain some nutrition so you aren’t just eating empty calories. Raw honey has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties which always do the body some good.
And let’s not forget maple syrup. Maple syrup has a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than honey with fewer calories. So either way, you go, you are getting some extra benefits out of it. Much more than you would get with regular cane sugar for sure.
I have a tendency to do a mixture of both honey and maple syrup for my granola. I just add both in equal parts to the same measuring cup until I get the full amount I need. But don’t worry if you’re a vegan who doesn’t eat honey, maple syrup by itself works wonderfully in this recipe.
Want to know a weird trick too? Put in the maple syrup first and then the honey. If you do this, the honey won’t stick to the sides of the cup. I don’t know about you but all the scraping to get the honey out can be really annoying.
Want to know an even better trick? Don’t scrape the coconut oil out of the measuring cup after you pour it into the bowl. Instead, use the same measuring cup for the sweetener, the oil will keep either sweetener from sticking to the sides. It just slides right out. And then you can scrape the cup to your heart’s content for the leftover oil. Brilliant!
The other big tip to making a chunky granola has two parts to it.
First, when it is time to stir the granola, before you pop it back in the oven, use your spatula to press it down. Part of the trick is that the oats need to really be pressed together closely but not piled high. The best tray I’ve found to use is one of those half sheet aluminum trays with a rim. It gives you the sides so that nothing spills out but has enough flat space to really spread the oats out into a nice thin layer.
The second part to this trick is to let the granola cool on the tray. That’s the part I learned just recently. If you transfer the oats off the tray before the sugar has had time to set, everything will break apart and separate. But if you let it cool completely on the tray, the sugar will harden and really stick together. Then when you go to pull it off it will break into nice big chunks.
Oh! And one last thing I want to mention. Put parchment paper on your tray. Not only does it make cleaning up a snap but you won’t be scraping the granola off the pan which might destroy the chunks. This stuff is pretty fragile after all.
I think that about covers it. Hooray for chunky granola! I have finally figured you out at long last.
Other Recipe Notes
I’ve got the basic recipe covered but there are some extra things I think it’s important to mention.
First, this recipe calls for coconut sugar but I know you might not have this specific sugar in the cupboards. I would highly recommend coconut sugar because it is a little more nutritious than regular cane sugar and much more environmentally friendly. However, if you don’t have access to it or no desire to try it, you can replace it with brown sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
Also, I have found that coconut oil works the best for this granola. Not only doesn’t work very well in any baked goodies you can think of but it does compliment and bring out the coconut flavor just a bit more. You can use another oil if you don’t have coconut oil on hand but I would suggest using an oil that has a very light flavor like almond oil or macadamia nut oil. Just make sure it can handle temperatures around 300 F. However, I would highly advise against using olive oil since it has such a strong taste.
No granola is complete without some kind of dried fruit, right? I found dried blueberries were heavenly in this granola recipe. It is subtly sweet without being too tart plus the presentation is just gorgeous. To keep the sugar content down, I’d suggest buying unsweetened blueberries. And since blueberries are on the “dirty dozen” list practically every year, I’d also recommend buying organic. I know this can be expensive but luckily a little goes a long way here.
No worries if you can’t get your hands on these though. If you’d like to put in another fruit, raisins or currants would be the safe bet but you could also try cherries as well. Or you can, of course, just leave them out.
Depending on what plans you had for this granola, there is one other item you could add. If you are looking to really take this granola to the next level, add some white chocolate chips. This combination may not be the healthiest granola to eat but it would make for an excellent holiday gift. I don’t know about you, but my mother is going to love this granola!
This homemade coconut macadamia granola with dried blueberries is subtly sweet and very chunky. It's gluten-free and vegetarian (or vegan if you omit the honey) and incredibly easy to make. No one will believe it by the taste though!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts raw and unsalted
- 1/4 cup dried coconut shredded or flakes
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries unsweetened
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 F. Lay parchment paper on baking tray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Mix and set aside.
In a small bowl add the melted coconut oil, maple or honey, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
Place mixture on a baking tray and spread it out into a thin layer about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Pull the tray out and add raw macadamia nuts. Mix and press flat like as before.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Add coconut flakes, mix and press flat again.
Bake for 5 more minutes.
Let cool completely on a cooling rack (about 1 hour or more). Gently lift up the parchment paper and let break up into chunks. Add blueberries and white chocolate (if desired). Store granola in a plastic bag or airtight container. Best if eaten within one week.
You can substitute macadamia nuts for another nut. If nuts are roasted, do not bake them just add them along with the blueberries after the granola has cooled.
1 tbsp. coconut sugar = 1 tbsp. brown sugar
Calorie count is 1 serving size (1/2 cup)
I hope you give this recipe a try! This coconut macadamia granola tastes great as a cereal; on yogurt; as part of a trail mix; and as a topping for pudding, cupcakes, and muffins.
You can change up the base recipe too. Don’t like macadamias? Switch them out for almonds. Want to add some sunflower seeds? Go for it! I’d recommend you reduce the amount of oats equal to the amount of seeds you want to add. The possibilities are almost endless.
And if you are looking for ideas to DIY your holiday gifts this year, this granola will really fit the bill and not break your wallet.
Thank you for visiting Late Summer Mama! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below. Likewise, I would really love to hear your thoughts on how this recipe worked out for you. Until next time!