Most weekdays I work from home and seldom stop to make breakfast for myself. Many days I look up and the day has clipped by and all I’ve consumed is coffee! So planning ahead and keeping something fresh in the fridge is perfect for a morning or afternoon snack. This is one of my favorites.
I was never a big fan of store bought granola – it always seemed stale and tough. And I always wondered if people ate yogurt because “it was the thing to do” not because of the taste. Some years ago I was inspired by some recipes published in Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. She had a wonderful recipe for granola and a delightful yogurt that was transformed into an orange-scented wonder.
My take on both has changed through the years. The granola I make is not complicated – oats and coconut tossed with cranberries and golden raisins along with the nutty goodness of slivered almond and chopped pecans.
After a bit of time in the oven, the cranberries deepen in flavor, the raisins turn a gorgeous amber and the oats, coconut and nuts are toasted and crunchy – and they’re all coated with rich, fragrant Texas honey!
Then there’s the yogurt component. There is a wide variety of yogurts available in the markets and it’s almost overwhelming. I have recently discovered Noosa yogurts and am obsessed with their coconut yogurt.
The original recipe for the yogurt called for a plain, low-fat yogurt. I’ve always used a vanilla yogurt but loved the idea of elevating the coconut layer from the granola and decided to use Noosa’s coconut yogurt. The results did not disappoint. You strain the yogurt overnight to remove any excess liquid then replace it with orange juice. The juice along with the orange zest and vanilla extract will elevate yogurt to a new level!
The recipes make enough for a crowd or plenty to get you through the week. With this wonderful light and crunchy honey-glazed granola and this creamy citrus scented yogurt, there’s no excuse to skip breakfast!
Honey Roasted Granola with Citrus Scented Coconut Yogurt
For the Granola:
4 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup slivered almonds
½ cup honey
¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
In a large bowl stir together the oats, the coconut, cranberries, the raisins, pecans and almonds.
In a separate small bowl whisk together the vegetable oil and the honey then pour it over the oat mixture. Stir together until it is well blended, making sure that all the ingredients are coated.
Spread the granola mixture out onto a large, rimmed baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
Bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes, stirring the granola about every 15-20 minutes so that all the granola is lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and stir every 15-20 minutes while the granola cools. This helps keep the granola from sticking to the pan and clumping while it cools.
Once the granola is completely cool store it in a sealed container.
For the Yogurt:
4 containers of coconut yogurt, 8-ounces each (If you can’t find coconut yogurt, use vanilla yogurt plus 1/2 cup flaked coconut.)
½ cup honey
Zest and juice of one orange, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place a small sieve or colander inside a bowl leaving room at the base of the bowl for the liquid to collect. Line the sieve or the colander with cheesecloth.
Scoop out the yogurt onto the top of the cheesecloth and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. After the yogurt has been strained place it in a medium-size mixing bowl.
Add the honey and the orange zest.
Stir together and add enough of the orange juice to reach your prefered consistency. Add the vanilla extract and stir to blend well.