Coconut Açaí Granola

Alright, alright...this is a food blog after all.  Enough with the chit-chat stories and on to them RECIPES! This one comes from Sam Talbot...that awesome chef that sent me a tweet!  I recently purchased his cookbook, The Sweet Life, and immediately fell in love with it.

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day, however, more often that not, I don't have the time to make a full meal of eggs, bacon, toast, and fruit!  Let's face it - our society is on speed 24/7.  We always seem to be in a rush - going to work, the gym, running errands.  I know first-hand that we don't always have time to eat in the morning...  If you are anything like me, coffee is a MUST in the am.  But what about food!?  I am lucky in that coffee doesn't upset my stomach anymore...I don't need food in my belly when I drink it.  Coffee on an empty stomach is just fine by me.  However, it is not good for you...  In fact, not eating breakfast in the morning is not good for you.  Eating a good meal in the morning helps kick start your metabolism, it supplies our body with nutrients and substance which impacts our energy level, and it helps us concentrate on the day ahead of us.

This Coconut Açaí Granola is a great option for people who are on the run or who don't have a lot of time to make a full breakfast!  The combination on nuts and berries in this thing is delicious!  I first glance, this recipe may seem a bit intimidating....there are a lot of ingredients.  But don't worry - it is really very simple!  The ingredients can get a bit pricey, one downfall, but take one taste and you'll agree - it is well worth it!

My favorite part of this recipe - there are so many superfoods in it!  It is insane!  A superfood is one that is low in calories but high in nutrients.  Let's face it, even know society has come a long way in technology, health, and nutrition, we still don't have that perfect formula.  These superfoods are our best bet...according to the American Cancer Society, these antioxidant-high foods can help reduce the risk for serious disease such as cancer.  Why not be healthy while enjoying amazing tasting food?  Nuts...berries...all so good for you and crazy tasty!

Those berries are from the South American Andes, the Himalayans, and Turkey...oh and the cacao nibs - those are from the lush rainforests of Ecuador...talking about world cuisine!

A quick tip as far as the oat flour goes...don't worry about going out and buying an entire package of it!  I've got a much cheaper way to get this ingredient - you can make your own oat flour!  Simply take a half cup of old-fashioned rolled oats and stick it in your food processor (1/2 cup rolled oats = 1/2 cup oat flour).  Pulse it until the oats are the consistency of flour!

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but this recipe is so easy!  I did a little bit of prep work last night - chopped up some nuts, etc.  But really, it is just a matter of throwing it all together, sticking it on a pan, and throwing it in the oven.  Seriously - NOT an intimidating recipe.  A big plus...the aromas coming from your oven while it cooks are mouth-watering!

Different ways to eat this:

Throw a handful in a bowl and top it off with some almond milk.

Throw some on top of a bowl of greek yogurt.

Grab a handful and eat it on the go!

Coconut Açaí Granola

Makes 12 servings.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup oat flour 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1/4 cup bran flake cereal 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup chopped pistachios 2 tablespoons cacao nibs 2 tablespoons goji berries 2 tablespoons golden berries 2 tablespoons dried mulberries 1 tablespoon açaí powder Granulated stevia extract equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons canola oil 1/2 cup agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 300° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, coconut, sesame seeds, bran flakes, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and pistachios.  Then gently mix in the cacao nibs, goji berries, golden berries, mulberries, açaí powder, sweetener, oil, and agave nectar.

Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet.  Bake until the granola is golden brown and fragrant, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.  Once it's cooled, break the granola into pieces and enjoy.