I’ve been in Florida visiting my parents this past week. For those who regularly follow Three Many Cooks, you may recall that my dad was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment a year ago. Not unexpectedly his condition is progressing. I wish we could turn back the clock a few years, so that he and I could have known his course. Maybe we wouldn’t have done anything differently and even if we had, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. But I wish he had at least been given the opportunity to enjoy a homemade super-food cereal like this Granola with Blueberries, Coconut, and Walnuts instead his usual Sugar Frosted Flakes and Golden Grahams.

Don’t think I haven’t realized that I’m my father’s daughter. For now I do what I can. I take fish oil, keep my brain active, and watch what I eat.  There’s a good chance his fate could be mine, but I’m trying to learn from him. I don’t stock sugary store-bought cereals on my pantry shelf. Instead I keep on hand healthy cereals like this Granola with Blueberries, Coconut, and Walnuts.

In this version of my granola formula I’ve replaced wheat germ with ground flaxseed. Called “one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet” for its reduction of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke, flaxseed also means this granola is gluten-free. Healthier coconut oil replaces vegetable oil and agave stands in for my usual maple syrup. I’ve also chosen three super food add-ins–coconut, dried blueberries, and walnuts.

Since I’m always giving away my homemade granola–Maggy always appreciates a container of it–I nearly always double the recipe. To do so, just switch from a 13- by 9-inch pan to an 18- by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet.

Eat well, enjoy life!

Coconut Granola with Blueberries and Walnuts
Makes 1 quart

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup each: chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup agave
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup dried blueberries,

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Mix oats, flaxseed meal, salt, walnuts and coconut in a medium bowl. Bring agave, oil, water, and cardamom to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a 13-by 9-inch pan coated with vegetable cooking spray. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in bluberries. Continue to bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let cool and serve. (Can be stored in an airtight tin for 1 month.)