Gourmet Granola | Coconut Macadamia & Blueberries
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 gourmet 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 gourmet 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 Gourmet 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 down a silicone mat or compostable 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 gourmet granola! I have finally figured you out at long last.
Other Tips for Making Coconut Macadamia Granola
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 avocado 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; cherries, raisins, or currants would be the safe bet. 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!
Looking for other zero (or low) waste and vegan sweets? You might want to check out my anise avocado cookies, chai milkshake, peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, spicy maple and rosemary pumpkin seeds, and avocado fudgy brownies!
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Coconut Macadamia Granola with Blueberries
- Large Rimmed Baking Tray
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper (optional)
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (raw or roasted)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried blueberries
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup vegan white chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 F and line a large rimmed baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
- Evenly spread the oats onto the baking tray. With the flat end of your spatula, press firmly down on oats.
- Bake at 300F for 15 mins.
- Add the coconut flakes (if you prefer toasted) and raw macadamia nuts and stir the granola.
- For chunky granola: with the flat end of your spatula, press firmly down on the oats before you stick it back in the oven.
- Bake for another 5-15 mins or until the oats are a light golden brown.
- Place the baking tray on a cooling rack and let it completely cool before removing from the tray (should take about 45 mins.).
- For chunky granola: gently pull the silicone mat or paper off the tray and break pieces with your hands.For smaller pieces: use a spoon or spatula to break it up and pull it off the tray.
- Add any extras once cooled.
- Store in a sealed container for 1 to 2 weeks. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Where to Buy?
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Whenever possible, it is always a good practice to buy from a local store near you. Just please try to buy products packaged in glass instead of plastic. It’s even better to find it in bulk to reduce waste.
However, who you source from is just as important. So if you have to buy online, here are some companies I suggest. These companies have been chosen because they are small businesses but not necessarily focused on sustainability (it is always good to help these guys out) or larger companies that are committed to fair trade, ethical practices, and/or committed to sustainability.
I will also list the State or Country this businesses reside in so that you have the option to locate a shop close to you. Those with affiliated links will be marked by an *
For eco-friendly parchment paper:
- If You Care (USA) *
For coconut oil:
For coconut oil:
Did you give this recipe a try?