coconut curry pepita granola

This stuff is the ultimate sweet-salty-spicy-crunchy combination, the kind of snack that leaves you crazy addicted after one bite. So, sorry in advance if you eat the whole batch in one day… I warned you!

The ingredients complement each other perfectly: spicy curry and cinnamon, sweet maple syrup, a good dose of sea salt and toasty coconut, all caramelized around the crunchy roasted pepitas and rice puffs.

Also it’s gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and so delicious that you won’t even notice.

I tried three different batches, playing with the ingredients each time until I tasted that perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy. The original recipe was more of a pepita brittle rather than granola, with lots of the gooey stuff and fewer seeds. I’m sure that is delicious but I wanted a more snack-acceptable treat, so I added some oats and rice puffs to make it granola-y.

This is perfect for jarring up and gift-giving, as I did for Christmas, or just leaving in a bowl on the counter for whenever you need a zesty bite to wake your taste buds. Just beware, one bite will turn in to seven… or 25.

coconut curry pepita granola, adapted from here

  • 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup oats (use gluten-free oats if desired)
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 T curry powder
  • 1/2 t Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 T sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or not—it’s up to you)

*for a lower sugar version you can replace 1/4 cup of the maple syrup with unsweetened applesauce (I haven’t tried this but it should be fine), and use unsweetened coconut.

Heat oven to 350º F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Measure pepitas, rice puffs and oats into a large bowl and set aside. Place curry powder in a small saucepan and heat over low flame until it is lightly toasted and fragrant. Then add maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and cinnamon, whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

Pour maple mixture over pepitas and rice puffs, stirring to mix. Spread coated granola evenly over the surface of the parchment-lined cookie sheets in a thin layer. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and stir shredded coconut into mixture, then bake for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until seeds are toasty and granola is golden. Keep a close eye on it this time as the seeds and coconut can burn quickly. Then remove from oven.

Place baking sheet on a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. The seed mixture will harden as it cools. Some areas will be very toasty and crisp, while other areas will be gooey and caramel-like :] When cooled, break granola into chunks. Serve when warm and delicious or store in an air-tight container and eat within 2 weeks ( if it will take that long)!

^ this was my first batch, which was close to the original recipe with mostly pepitas and I added a few almonds.

mid-baking, adding the coconut.


-mich Continue reading

Birthday cake pops!

It’s still 85 degrees here in Charleston and I’m craving fall. I just want to put on a cozy sweater and bake some pumpkin bread! So I kind of did anyway… :]

Mom’s birthday was the first day of fall this year and one of her favorite things is maple syrup.. quite fitting. After much debating about what would be easiest to send in the mail I settled on cake pops—little truffles of cake and frosting all smooshed together and dipped in glaze. YUM. I figured they were much more mail-friendly than cupcakes. And birthday cookies are just boring… Soo cake pops it was!

I wanted to incorporate as many warm and autumn-y flavors of possible, and I may have gone a little overboard :] The end result was a sweet potato-spice cake, which I baked, crumbled and mixed with maple-cream cheese frosting, formed into balls and dipped in cinnamon-maple glaze, and finally topped with some crushed pecans. I feel like I’m explaining my masterpiece on Cupcake Wars or something!

*I used this recipe for sweet potato cake, this for the maple cream cheese frosting, and this for the cinnamon-maple glaze.

‘Twas very long and intricate process, but the end result was fantastic, plus I got to enjoy tasting each element on its own. I managed to snap some photos before sending them off, because they were too cute and oozing with mapley goodness to let go undocumented.

So happy birthday mama, I hope the weather at home is more appropriate for these little sweet treats than it is here!

My original attempt to make "pops" failed because the glaze was too runny and wouldn't harden on top. Oh well, my truffles are cuter :]

My original attempt to make “pops” failed because the glaze was too runny and wouldn’t harden on top. Oh well, my truffles are cuter :]