Oct 13, 2013

Hungry Monkey Granola

Woo oh my, it has been a WHILE that I haven't swirled and scrambled, hasn't it... What else is there to say other then that my life has been busy (in a good way!) and a couple of things have changed- including my diet... believe it or not, but....*drum rolls*...I have gone...*drum rolls*....v....e....g....no not vegetarian. I've gone vegan! It's been a little over six months now that I've stopped consuming animal products. It all has to do with a trip to Jamaica earlier this year, where I decided to experience my trip eating at "Rastaurants"- basically where Rastas eat. 
I had been doing some research prior to my trip and found out that the diet of Rastafarian culture is an "Ital" one- in a nutshell, wholesome, organic vegan food. There are some variations around it where fish is permitted, but not all kinds of fish. It's a very interesting philosophy around food and its impact on one's body &  mind. Well I was certainly convinced and decided to give it a try. I've never been a big meat eater in the first place, so I was looking forward to it, and the transition to vegan seemed to happen naturally. Today I can truly say that I feel good without animal products. I really do. The funny thing is that I had tried the whole Paleo thing before, but all that meat was getting to me. I just felt "toxic" inside. Anyway- the point is, you should eat what feels right, what feels "natural" to you and not one someone preaches to you. Don't listen to the hype- just listen to your body and follow the signs. I have no clue how long this vegan thing is going to last for... but for now, I'm enjoying it :)

Anyhow- so that's one reason why I stopped blogging because I was getting used to a whole new culinary lifestyle. 

So...I can't promise anything, but I am hoping to have some more regular activity on here! Sorry for going all silent, but now you know why :)

With that said- granola! I'm sure that like me, lately you've been coming across this plethora of home made granola recipes, no? I finally had the chance to get around it and it sure is one fun thing to do! I had a bunch of oats and made a chocolatey version with almonds, raisins and banana chips. I even decided to give it a name: Hungry Monkey Granola! 
Some of the base ingredients: oats, almonds, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa....
Which are then mixed with honey and coconut oil, baked in the oven for a good hour or so...
Add in non-nut based toppings of choice: raisins, banana chips! 
Indeed, there is no rocket science behind homemade granola :) 


3 cups oats (not the instant type!)
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3-4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup coconut oil
Banana chips

Preheat oven to 250F. In a bowl, mix the oats, almonds, cocoa and brown sugar. Then add the honey. Finish with coconut oil. Lay it all out on a baking tray and bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes for even colour and toastiness. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and add raisins and banana chips to your preference. Serve with milk or almond milk...or whatever you want! Enjoy! 

Substitutions: you can substitute honey with molasses, agave- heck even corn syrup if that's what you want to do! You can also switch coconut oil with vegetable oil, as long as it's not olive oil. I used coconut as that's what I had on hand at the time. 

The Crrrrrunch! Factor: The more honey (or other liquid sugar source) you add, the more clusters you'll get. So it's up to you, just don't sugar-bomb the recipe :)

Final result: incase you're curious, this recipe made about 19.4 ounces/550gr of total product


Anonymous said...

This looks amazing!!

Beth Williams said...

This looks yummy Marianna - but I must confess that I don't eat bananas (one of my food quirks). What do you suggest I substitute for them? I've never made my own granola before... how fun!

Good luck with the vegan diet!

Marianna said...

Hi Beth!! Believe it or not I too do not like bananas when eaten plain straight up, but I do like Banana Chips :) Anyway, I think with a chocolate base your options are endless :) Originally I wanted to do a chocolate-almond-coconut-dried cherries combo. If you can find large shavings of dried coconut that is a good substitute to banana chips! Hugs!

Manja said...

This looks so amazing! I have been wanting to make my own granola for a really long time. I might give this one a try as my first-ever homemade granola :) I personally could probably not go vegan, but I would love to experience the food culture in Jamaica. I have already heard and seen so much about it!