Cornmeal Crusted Baked Avocado Fries (GF, DF, VF)

June 2, 2016

Lemony Caprese Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette (DF, VF, Vegan)

June 2, 2016

Coffee Crunch Granola (GF, DF, V, VF, Refined Sugar Free)

June 2, 2016

Hi friends!  How are you?  Life has been crazy in these parts dealing with the end of the school year crazies, sick child and of course creating recipes for you!  My first job, when I was 16, was working at a small local coffee and book shop making lattes, talking with customers, and smelling like a coffee bean most of the time.  I drank my fair share of coffee in my early teens and 20’s and it wasn’t until I got pregnant with my son, that I switched to decaf (gasp!).  I love the ritual of waking up and drinking something warm and inviting like coffee and easing into the hectic, over scheduled days.  It’s kind of like the calm before the storm.  Lately, I’ve been drinking warm lemon water with honey instead of coffee, but for some reason, I’ve been craving coffee again.  Like an old friend, I miss having that cozy cup of joe by my side in the morning.  So this morning, while my son was sleeping and recovering from the flu, I created the most amazing granola recipe (I think I say that about all my granola recipes like my top rated Chunky Monkey Granola, Skillet Maca & Oats Granola, and my Caramel Spiced Granola) but really this is a good one, I promise!  It’s got so many of my favorite ingredients such as creamy peanut butter, oats, nuts, coconut and the star of this recipe, coffee!  I added a double dose of coffee flavor, one in the form of espresso powder and the other in the form of cold brew coffee. Now you can have your coffee and breakfast all in one, what could be better than that?  I made a big batch to take to my best friends bachelorette party this weekend and I can’t wait for all the girls (and you!) to try it! And can you see the CLUSTERS?  Granola is not granola without clusters, in my humble opinion and I know you agree….My secret to making GIANT clusters is using a precise combination of brown rice syrup and peanut butter.  It works every time!  Let’s get to granola making, shall we?

Coffee Crunch Granola (GF, DF, V, VF, Refined Sugar Free)  Coffee Crunch Granola 2 (GF, DF, V, VF, Refined Sugar Free)

Makes about 6 cups

4 cups gluten free quick cooking oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 T ground flaxseed

2 T chia seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 T salt

1 T vanilla extract

3 T coconut oil

3/4 cup brown rice syrup (you can sub maple but know that you won’t have as many clusters)

1/2 cup peanut butter (or sub nut butter of your choice) I used Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter

1/2 cup cold brew coffee (I used Chameleon Cold brew or just a half a cup of brewed coffee)

1 T espresso powder (you may leave out, but it gives a richer coffee flavor)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients.  Set aside.

In small saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium low heat until bubbling.  Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and toss to coat the oats, nuts and seeds.

Spread mixture over two baking sheets and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes (I did 15 in my oven) or until golden brown.  The mixture will still be a little mushy as it comes out of the oven.  Don’t worry, after a half hour it will firm up nicely and you’ll have clusters for days!

Serve over yogurt with berries, with milk, over ice-cream, or just as is for the perfect portable snack!

Coffee Crunch Granola 3 (GF, DF, V, VF, Refined Sugar Free)