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Coconut Carrot Cake Granola

Since making this most recent batch of granola, (other recipes I’ve posted are Pumpkin Spice Granola and Maple Date Granola), I’ve been repeatedly asking myself why I don’t make homemade granola more often. Preparing this breakfast staple at home allows you not only to control the quality of ingredients, but also to be creative with flavor combinations.

When I stumbled upon Allie’s recipe for Carrot Cake Granola on her blog Live Laugh Eat, it was nearly impossible to get out of my head the idea of making my own version. Although my recipe is quite different than Allie’s, I must give her credit for providing the inspiration behind my Coconut Carrot Cake Granola.

While brainstorming what ingredients to include in this recipe, I focused on a few of the common add-ins for carrot cake. Although there are plenty of purists who would argue that extraneous additions only sully the tender cake, I enjoy the underlying rich flavor of coconut as well as the crunch of buttery pecans and the chewiness of sweet raisins. Even though I decided to omit these ingredients from my Carrot Cake Pancakes, I think they are essential for the granola.

The aroma of the granola while baking could easily have fooled our neighbors into thinking I had a cake in the oven. The warm spices mingled with the tropical coconut and nutty pecans to create an irresistible fragrance that perfumed our whole apartment. My first taste test took the form of a handful straight from the oven, but soon thereafter I sat down to fully enjoy a serving accompanied by coconut extract-infused Greek yogurt and banana slices.  Although the grated carrot was visibly unidentifiable amidst the golden brown clusters, the traditional carrot cake flavors were unmistakable.

This is the perfect breakfast for a beautiful spring morning!

Coconut Carrot Cake Granola

inspired by Allie’s Carrot Cake Granola (linked above)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrots (a microplane grater works best here)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Meaure the oats and puffed rice into a large bowl, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, grated carrot, agave nectar, coconut extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until very smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the nuts and flaked coconut into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
  6. Remove granola from the oven, toss with raisins, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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