Granola with Blueberries, Coconut and Walnuts

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!

Granola with Blueberries, Coconut and Walnuts
 
by:
Serves: Makes 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup flaxseed meal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup each: chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ cup dried blueberries,
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.)

 

9 Comments

  1. says

    I’m so sorry about your dad, Pam. There is nothing easy about watching that kind of progression.

    This granola looks wonderful and I love that it isn’t packed with sugar. This is definitely one that I would be thrilled to serve to my family.

  2. Kel says

    I am so sorry. How much fish oil do you take? I am in the same predicament. Enjoy your time while you can!!

  3. says

    Sorry to hear about your dad Pam. Have you read about some people having success with cogntive impairment when they are given coconut oil? I noticed your recipe has that ingredient in it. You can google and read about it. Here’s a portion of what they found “a study was published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, involving subjects with mild cognitive impairment who were given an oral dose of medium chain triglycerides. When tested 90 minutes later, subjects showed increased cognitive performance, believed to be associated with increased ketone bodies and their brain-metabolism enhancing effects.[iii].” Maybe try some coconut oil in his coffee. Alot of my blogger friends do that daily for the health benefits. Good luck to you and your family.

    • says

      Thanks for the coconut oil tip, Pattie. I did know a little about coconut oil’s health benefits, but not specifically that it was good for the brain. Next time I’m down there I’ll buy a jar and see if I can’t get my mom to sneak it in his morning coffee. He’s still aware enough to know that something’s wrong with his brain, so if he knows it’s good for him, he might be agreeable to a dose a day.

  4. Natalie says

    Thanks for that, I am going through a similar stage with my mom. I love the new recipes that feature brain food. Pattie’s comment is true I have heard the same thing. Hang in there and remember the good times

  5. Lala says

    My sympathies too, and my thanks for a great recipe. I cleaned up my diet after having breast cancer and signs of cardiac issues (and I had thought I was a “healthy eater!”). I’m eating protein, vegetables, healthy fat, and fruit–feel great and losing weight as a bonus. This recipe helps because one of the few things I miss is baking sweets for my husband–this has the same feeling but is better for him. (I love coconut oil too, by the way, and used it to grease the pan instead of spray.)

  6. says

    It is so hard to watch someone you love change due to illness. So sorry to read this. I’ve been making versions of your granola recipe for several years (from the USA Weekend article) and this is very similar to the one I make most often. Last time I made it I was out of wheat germ and hemmed and hawed about whether I could use flaxseed meal. I tried it and was relieved it turned out great! I should have thought to look here for advice! :o) Thanks for sharing your recipes!

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