Spring with summer around the bend means one thing to me: Coconut time! I think that coconut is so very under appreciated. Coconut, shredded and unsweetened is one of the best additions to cookies and breads, as well as smoothies. Coconut oil is always great to cook with because it does not change its composition under high heat. Coconut milk and coconut meat and coconut water! I know, I may sound crazy. I don't care.

Here is a recipe I created when we had a "healthy eating day" in my diet and nutrition class. Students were encouraged to make a professor approved snack or meal to share with the class. I am far too lazy to participate so naturally I showed up with nothing more than a semi-empty stomach, as I must always eat something with blueberries in it for breakfast. Long story short, there were bags a plenty of homemade granola that no one was taking! As I have no shame, I took three bags full. I also took a muffin, granola bar, and some kind of oatmeal bar with a questionable strawberry glaze- I wanted it all. I stopped myself at the pasta (it was 9am) and the brownies.

My bag was so heavy walking home! I don't usually just eat granola, so I decided to utilize it and make some kind of cookie. These cookies are harder, not chewy, like a Mexican wedding cookie. Of course, I added coconut. They are strangely crunchy and addictive. They are actually very good when put in the freezer. And finally, they are vegan! But this was by accident, I wanted to make a lot of hard boiled eggs and didn't feel like putting any in.

I am still periodically sneaking these little wonders out of the freezer every time I walk by- and I am without guilt.. I mean if I can steal bags of granola in front of all my classmates, I can most certainly eat tons of little crunchy cookies in my home.

No Shame Granola & Coconut Cookie Bites:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup granola with nuts and dried fruit
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking soda, 1/2 coconut, salt, and granola. In a separate bowl, combine butter, oil, and sugar. Beat together until creamy. Fold the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the other half of the coconut and fold until just combined.

Drop cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet with a teaspoon. Because the cookies are hard they do not really expand and can be close to one another on the sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. If they are undercooked, they will not be chewy, they will simply fall apart. It is important to make sure they feel firm before taking them out to cool.

Cool on wax paper or put them on a plate and throw them in the freezer. Enjoy!

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