Years ago, my sister lived in Arcata, an adorable town on the northern coast of California in Humboldt County, an area known as much for its majestic views and redwood trees as it is for its bohemian culture. I once visited her for a spell, frequenting the local coop market, which had one of the best bulk food selections I had ever seen. My favorite item there was undoubtedly their excellent granola, which was chock full of toasted almonds and brightly colored dehydrated strawberry chunks, with a sweet maple endnote. Though it’s been well over 30 years since I tasted it, I’ve tried to emulate that exceptional granola with this recipe, and I think I’ve come pretty close. It’s very easy to make and is bound to leave a memorable impression, plus you can adapt it to your taste, substituting your preferred fruit, nuts and sweetener.
Makes about 1 quart or 566 grams
- 2 1/2 cups (220 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (25 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup (93 grams) natural almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) melted coconut oil or melted butter (57 grams)
- ½ cup (165 grams) maple syrup or honey (168 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (13 grams) freeze-dried strawberries, coarsely chopped
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut and almonds.
3. In a small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, ground cinnamon and salt. Pour over the oat mixture and toss well to combine. Scatter the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through baking, until nicely browned. Cool completely.
4. Add the freeze-dried strawberries and toss well to combine. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.