Hello from San Diego! Michael and I decided to take a nice little vacation to California for the week to get out of the Chicago cold. I’m currently looking over the harbor and breathing in the fresh air that San Diego brings. We’re about to head out to a vegan cafe for some gluten-free vegan pancakes. I honestly can’t believe I got Michael to agree to go to a vegan cafe with me since I think he truly believes that every meal needs to have meat in it. But I promised him if he was still hungry after we could get him more food. Then we’re off to the San Diego Zoo and dinner later with my cousin Danny who lives nearby.
I’ll have more updates on our trip and where we ate later, but for now I’m sharing these vegan granola cups filled with fresh fruit and a lemon coconut “faux-gurt” filling. These granola cups are super adaptable which is what I think makes them great. You could fill them with store bought yogurt or even a chocolate mousse and any fruit you have on hand. I went ahead and made a lemon coconut filling which I then dubbed faux-gurt because that’s what it tasted like! A delicious, lemony yogurt. I also ended up eating leftovers the rest of the week just like I would yogurt. But if you’re short on time or don’t need to eat dairy-free, by all means pick up some regular yogurt and maybe add some lemon juice and lemon zest to it.
I adore how these turned out and I think they are perfect for a brunch get together, especially for Easter. You can make the granola cups themselves and then assemble the rest right before serving. Or you could even do them as a brunch bar and have different types of yogurts out with an assortment of fruit for topping which would be really fun!
What’s on your menu for brunch this weekend ?
- 2 cups gluten-free certified oats (or 1 cup rolled oats if not gluten-free)
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup dried cranberries (I use low sugar)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla (gluten-free)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 can coconut milk
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ cup cold water
- fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- fresh fruit like apricots, peaches, bananas
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl, mix together oats, coconut, dried cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, applesauce and chia seeds until the oats are moistened and everything sticks together. If it's not sticking together, you can add more sweetener or you can put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until its cold and it should be easier to mold.
- Spoon oat mixture into 18 muffin cups (without liner). Make a well with the back of your spoon so that the filling has some place to go. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- To make the filling, add coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla to a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it comes to a boil. Make a slurry with the cornstarch but mixing it in a small bowl with ¾ cups of cold water until no clumps remain. Slowly add it to the coconut milk mixture until it begins to thicken up while stirring. Heat for an additional 5 minutes and then let cool. Refrigerate the filling until it sets up.
- To assemble, spoon the lemon coconut filling into each of the granola cups. Top with a few pieces of fresh fruit.
**Filling will need to be cooled completely in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
***You can use store-bought yogurt instead of the filling. Just add lemon juice and lemon zest to the yogurt for a fresh flavor.