Vanilla Bean Pecan Granola

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Hello folks!
Hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season filled with lots of good food. While I wanted to post a seasonal, wintery recipe today, I also was on a mission to make delicious granola. I realized I haven’t posted a granola recipe in a long time so that became today’s post.

Recently at work, I discovered my cafeteria’s granola is actually pretty tasty. Some days I’ll either bring yogurt from home or get some in the cafeteria for a mid-morning snack, along with a heaping scoop of granola. But then I remembered, my own granola is pretty damn good and free, since I have all the ingredients on hand. I wanted to make something a little different this time around, so I incorporated some new ingredients.

Growing up, I was always a chocolate person. I loved chocolate everything and would eat chocolate in some form or another just about every day. Then I slowed started moving away from my chocolate addiction and some time over the past few years, I’ve become crazy over vanilla. I still enjoy a bowl of rich chocolate ice cream (or especially these peppermint chocolate truffles), but when it comes to my everyday vices such as coffee or granola bars, I prefer vanilla.

I always put plenty of vanilla extract in any of my baked goods, and recently picked up some vanilla bean paste from Homegoods. It’s really more like of a goo, though I suppose “vanilla bean goo” doesn’t sound quite as appealing. It has a nice rich vanilla flavor, with vanilla bean seeds in it. The other addition to this granola was pecans. Pecans are probably my favorite type of nut, and I love that they serve them at the breakfast and salad bar at work. I also added raisins this time, which I haven’t done before, but I love the chewiness of them in contrast to the crunchy granola.

Vanilla Bean Pecan Granola
makes about 2 1/2 cups

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or canola, or butter)
  • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract (or from a fresh vanilla bean if you’re feeling adventurous!)
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
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Your ingredients

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The “secret” ingredient – Vanilla Bean Paste! This can be found at Homegoods, Marshall’s, and probably specialty baking stores such as Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut oil in the microwave (mine took about 1 minutes and 30 seconds total to melt). Stir in honey and vanilla bean paste/extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and stir. Add to bowl with wet ingredients and stir again, making sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated in oil. Fold in pecans, raisins, and coconut and stir once more, just until combined.
  4. Spread uncooked granola on your baking sheet and bake for a total of 30 minutes, stirring at 10 minute increments. Stirring is important, or else your granola will cook unevenly and possibly burn in some spots.
  5. Once it’s done cooking, I like to push it all to one side of the baking sheet in a big pile to encourage clumping. Let it cool for about 20 – 30 minutes before serving. Store in an air-tight container (mason jars work perfectly!)
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Prep your ingredients

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Mix it all up!

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Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

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The finished product!

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:)

P.S. I got a new camera lens for Christmas! These photos were taken with the new toy. I’m not sure if I like it as much as my old lens that broke last year, but I’m still getting used to it so we’ll see!

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