Spiced Coconut Granola

Spiced Coconut Granola

 

I spent part of the morning recipe creating and as a result this divine creation came into being! It is probably to this day one of my favorite granola recipes. This delicious granola is:

·     Sweet (but not too sweet)

·     Crunchy

·     Nutty

·     Toasty

·     Hearty

 

 I so love getting creative in the kitchen, playing around with ideas & recipes. Essentially, I love creating “mystery box challenges” by working with whatever I have on hand. I love doing this for two reasons. One reason being that it keeps me in the mindset of, “how can I be industrious and make something out of things most people would generally have on hand?” instead of buying ingredients for any specific recipe and secondly because it gets my creative juices flowing. It’s a great challenge, to create something delicious & fun without any pre-planning or forethought. It’s something quite special - getting into the kitchen with an open mind and saying to yourself, “time to play”. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, great. Try again.

 

That is one thing I love about working with food – is that there is no “getting it wrong” (unless you’re a French line chef of course). This is something my dad taught me when I was young. He is a phenomenal cook and he always encouraged me to create with the mindset of releasing fear of “getting it wrong”. If you create something and it doesn’t turn out great, it’s still not “wrong”, it’s just not great. Try again. Play. Create. To me, this is what food is - it’s a way of creatively engaging with such a fundamental part of human existence, it is a way of giving, showing love, connecting. I believe that having this approach to your food and creation thereof is vital as it fosters a healthy, wholesome and nurturing relationship with food and it’s preparation. It’s about creating a space that is not only conducive to cultivating & harnessing your creative energy, but also cultivating a space where you feel that it’s safe to explore & play. A space where there is no “getting it wrong”, as dad calls it. When the fear of “getting it wrong” is no longer there, suddenly you find that you are much more willing, likely & ready to go into that creative space and channel your energy positively and effectively.

 

ANYWAY, back to the granola. Yes. The granola. Some fun uses for this granola include: breakfast cereal (duh), as a topping for smoothie bowls or parfaits, as a topping for desserts or apple crumbles, and as a go-to snack (you can eat it just as is, or you can create a trail mix with this granola being the base).

 

Oats are one of my favorite things to work with because oats are so versatile. They are also highly nutritious and really delicious. Oats contain high amounts of soluble fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are a great source of quality plant protein. It’s for all of these reasons that oats leave you feeling energized, fueled & satiated. What I love about this recipe, too, is the use of Ayurvedic spices which contribute to the many healing benefits of this recipe. The spices used are turmeric, cloves, cardamom and mixed spice. Below is some information regarding the health & healing benefits of each spice:

 

Turmeric:

Turmeric is used worldwide for its miraculous healing properties. It is highly anti-inflammatory, it is known to be a good anti-depressant and pain killer. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which has been researched to be more potent than aspirin & ibuprofen in reducing inflammation within the body system (this is also why it’s a great dietary addition for people with arthritis). Curcumin has also been shown to be a potent anti-cancer compound, supposedly killing off cancerous cells as well as preventing growth of cancer cells. Turmeric is also a great cholesterol regulator.

 

Cloves:

Cloves are highly nutritious too, and used extensively for their medicinal & culinary purposes. Cloves contain many essential oils such as Eugenol, they are high in Vitamin A as well as many other minerals like manganese, selenium, iron & potassium. Cloves have anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-flatulent and rubefacient (warming & soothing properties which increases blood flow) properties. They also contain a high level of anti-oxidants.

 

Cardamom:

Cardamom is often used as a digestive aid and is closely related to ginger. It is used to combat nausea, bloating, gas (or any digestive irritability), loss of appetite, constipation and also helps to detoxify the body through releasing toxins through the kidneys. Cardamom is also anti-inflammatory, has high levels of antioxidants making it a potent anti-cancer spice and also helps to regulate blood pressure. Cardamom is often used to help/cure/prevent mouth infections, ulcers and colds or flu.

 

As you can possibly gather, this recipe is pretty rad due to its’ myriad of healing properties (anti-inflammatory, cancer-prevention, full of antioxidants and minerals etc). Whoever thought you’d be able to eat such delicious & tasty food (particularly granola!) and have it be filled with so much incredible healing potential. Store bought granola is filled with so many nasties these days – too many E numbers, refined oils, refined sugars, preservatives and the like. So now, for the actual recipe for this healing granola powerhouse mix:

 

Ingredients

·     1 small banana

·     1 ¾ cup oats (I used Jungle oats, or quick cooking oats not rolled, although I’m sure rolled oats would be delicious too)

·     ½ cup toasted desiccated coconut

·     2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds

·     3 tablespoons agave syrup/maple/brown rice syrup (I used agave and it came out wonderful – perfect level of sweetness)

·     1 tablespoon molasses syrup

·     ½ tablespoon tahini

·     ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom

·     ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

·     1/8 teaspoon ground clove

·     ¼ teaspoon mixed spice

·     ½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

 

Method:

1.       Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.     In a mixing bowl, mash the banana finely until it creates a mixture without lumps. Add the spices, tahini, agave, molasses & salt. Mix well.

3.     In a pan, toast your coconut (making sure to watch it as it can burn easily). Place the coconut in the bowl with the banana mixture. Add in the toasted sunflower seeds & oats. Mix well.

4.     Spread the granola mix on the baking tray in a thin and even layer (this is important to ensure even baking time). Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then take it out and mix the granola up and place back in the oven for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and the smelling delicious.

5.     Take it out of the oven and allow to cool properly before using or storing. ENJOY.

 

Sending you all love and warmth as well as some coconut-y happy belly hugs.

Maria