1.07.2013

granola nut clusters

Today's to do list: Wake up for class on time (that never quite gets accomplished), work out at some point (pending), make & eat granola (check anddd check!)

These granola clusters are so yummy! And healthy too :) A good amount of them came out perfect, but others were too crunchy and tasted like they had baked too long due to my ancient oven's hot spots. I coped with it by deciding to use the too-crunchy clusters as cereal. The milk softens em' up a bit! 


Gainesville recently got a Trader Joe's (insert super happy face here), so I decided to make a 'quick' trip over there today to pick up pecans for this recipe. But as usual, my grocery store trips are never as fast I wish them to be. I ended up browsing each aisle, making mental notes of certain things that they do/don't carry, getting really excited over cheap/raw/all natural almond & sunflower seed butters, and chatting up some nice employees about another recipe I'm trying out tomorrow. I'm really loving Trader Joe's so far, even though I've come to terms with the fact that I'll still have to shop at about 3 different markets just to get my usual stuff. What we really need here is a Whole Foods!

  
You can definitely add more sweetener to these if desired, but I plan on using them in my yogurt, which is already sweet enough. Regardless, these are so good! And when you see that the recipe calls for a "heaping" amount of cinnamon, don't dismiss it! It made a difference to my taste buds :)


Granola Nut Clusters
Yield: ~3 cups
lightly adapted from Oh She Glows, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup raw walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats + 2 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons organic brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon of Sucanat* (can add 1-2 tbsp more if desired)
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt/kosher salt
*Note: If you don't have Sucanat, you can substitute with brown sugar or sugar in the raw (Turbinado sugar). I always stock up my pantry with Sucanat though, because it is the least refined dry sweetener I've come across, and still contains some of the natural trace minerals.

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. This seemed to be a bit too high of a temperature for these in my oven, only because I have a really old oven. Next time I may lower it and bake for 5 minutes less or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl add the pecans, walnuts, and brown rice syrup. Mix together very well, so that all the nooks & crannies of the nuts are sticky. FYI: If you've never baked with brown rice syrup before, it is very sticky!

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oats, Sucanat, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Pour it onto the nuts and mix until it is very well combined. You may have some oats that did not stick to the nuts. It's okay, still add it the baking sheet.

4. Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread out to an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before breaking it up a bit.

Enjoy!


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