Bohemian Dream Gift Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Our house really looks no different right now than it did in November or October. There's no Christmas tree or twinkle lights or velvet bows. It almost doesn't feel like Winter. I know it's cold. But the grey days have begun to blend together. And there's no snow to blanket the town in its glossy, wistful magic. I think the most holiday spirit I've had this year centered around getting some good deals on Moorea Seal jewelry for my lady friends and making this granola.
I did strongly consider getting a rosemary tree to decorate. Charlie Brown Christmas style. But I never got around to it. My dad never really started celebrating Christmas until about the week before. So now last minute Christmas is tradition! ("Last-minute, and still crushed it" is practically my family's motto). I'm imagining all of the holiday cheer is going to have to get packed into the 7 days before christmas in an explosion of ornaments, pine needles, and sugar cookies.
I was just invited to a holiday cookie swap out in the country, though. So maybe that will kick-start some festive feelings in my bones (early!).
My aunt makes this kickass granola for Christmas gifts sometimes -- rum is the secret ingredient. I don't have the recipe explicitly, so I basically messed around until I had a recipe that seemed to stand up to her killer version. Feel free to use honey instead of maple syrup if you're not vegan. And I also think that ghee sub coconut oil would be brilliant. But I'm a bit of a ghee fiend.
Why call it bohemian dream gift granola? One: it's granola. I have literally been called "granola" at fancy parties by fancier people. I like to take the negative connotation implied when people call me that and flip it upside down by putting on some flare jeans, a peasant top, and waving a brightly woven indian rug like a flag from the top of a mountain and yelling "HELL YA I'M GRANOLA! LIFE IS FREAKIN BEAUTIFUL!"
Two: there's hemp in it. Correction: hemp and chocolate and coconut melded together and then chopped into little bite size bits. I mean, if you can't put weed in it (that would be gross) you might as well put hemp hearts in it. For nutritional value, you guys.
Three: it's like all the best things you can have in granola (although admittedly it doesn't have pistachios in it, so I don't know if I can claim such things). Thus the dream part.
Four: it makes a perfect gift! If you're going to give cookies or sweets or granola for a gift they better be the most badass. Cause everyone knows you're sort of cheap or poor. And that's why they're getting granola. So let's all look less cheap/poor and give our friends this luxurious 'nola all wrapped in ribbon and gold-painted pine cones!
- For the Granola
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raw coconut flakes or chips
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweet bing cherries, chopped roughly
- For the Chocolate Bomb Bits
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup raw coconut flakes or chips (chopped roughly if you're using chips)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, coconut, and sea salt. Stir to combine.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and spiced rum.
- Add the wet mix to your oat mix and stir to combine.
- Spread the hazelnuts out on your baking sheet. Toast 20 minutes. Once cool enough to the touch, place the hazelnuts in a clean, unscented cloth and rub vigorously to remove their papery husks. Get as much of it off as you can and discard the husks.
- Chop your hazelnuts roughly and set aside.
- Place your parchment paper back on the baking sheet. Spread your oat mixture out on the baking sheet in an even layer.
- Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring the mixture half-way through.
- Remove from the oven and add the hazelnuts and cherries.
- Once the granola has cooled to room temperature (I helped it along by sticking it in the freezer for 15 minutes because I'm impatient like that) add the chocolate bites.
- Stick the granola in mini mason jars for gift-giving and decorate with ribbon and twine! Or just stick it in your mouth. Also a good idea.
- While the granola is baking, melt your chocolate chips with your coconut oil in a double boiler or over very low heat until completely melted, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat.
- Add your hemp hearts and coconut to the chocolate and mix until completely combined.
- Spread the mix over a sheet of parchment or wax paper and stick in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Once the chocolate is hard, remove from the freezer and chop into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch squares (this doesn't need to be exact, just bite-sized).