Blueberry Almond Pecan Breakfast Cereal Granola

Friday, November 17th, 2017

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In one of her most recent care packages, my mom included a few boxes of hippy-dippy cereal that I totally got hooked on. It’s not exactly a cereal in the traditional sense of the word – or at least not how I think of it – but rather a mix of cereal-type flakes, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. It’s almost like a granola mix watered down with cereal. Anyway, it’s sweet and delicious and even though I extended its life by mixing it in sparingly with my bran flakes – just enough to spice them up – it was gone way too soon.

I decided to approximate the experience by making my own granola-cereal mashup. This recipe has all the regular granola ingredients – rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts – along with a few types of store-bought cereal, just for fun. Normally I go with dried cranberries or homemade apple slices for the fruit portion of the mix, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the dried blueberries gifted to me by Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit! (If you worry that your dried fruit will get a little too dry during baking, you can always mix it in at the end.)

Though this stuff takes the better part of an afternoon to make, the end result is so worth it: sweet* and savory granola, made to your own specifications, and for a fraction of the price of store-bought stuff. The cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and other goodies in this granola really make it stand out from some of the other versions I’ve made. And yes, it works wonders for ye ole boring bran flakes!

* But not too sweet: if you really want a cavity-maker, double the maple syrup, or add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar!
(More below the fold…)

“health food”

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

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Banana Bread Soft Serve topped with homemade granola. My new favorite!

Incidentally, I have discovered that I prefer walnuts in my granola if I’m to put it on banana ice cream; almonds if I’m eating it with applesauce and bran flakes. Fussy, who me?

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

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How am I just now making apple cinnamon flavored granola? Apples and cinnamon are, like, my thang.

As it turns out, I didn’t even think of this combo until after a botched attempt at orange granola, using concentrated OJ (way, way too much concentrated OJ) as the main seasoning. The fail might have been epic, but at least it inspired me to use frozen apple juice in this next batch. In moderation, of course!

 

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon frozen apple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon (+ an extra teaspoon if you like your apples super-cinnamony!)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
6 cups quick or rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup dehydrated apple slices, cut into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 300F.

2. Start by roasting the oats! (Optional.) Lightly grease two medium-sized baking sheets with sides. Divide the oats between the two and spread them out evenly. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.

3. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, apple sauce, maple syrup, and spices; mix well.

4. In a large bowl, combine the oats and almonds. Stir to combine. Pour the apple mix on top of the oats and mix until well blended.

5. Spread the oats out evenly on the baking sheets. Bake at 300F for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. If necessary, break up any large clumps with a spoon or by hand. Allow to cool on the countertop for at least a half hour before stirring in the raisins and apple slices and transferring to an airtight container or ziplock bag. The granola can be frozen for longer storage.

Pumpkin Pecan Granola, Redux

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

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After the rousing success I had with the Maple-Almond Granola from Vegan Soul Kitchen, I decided to experiment with my Pumpkin Pecan Granola, applying some of Terry’s techniques to see how they might affect the finished product. I toasted the oats beforehand – which, as before, didn’t seem to make much of a difference – and added a little coconut oil to the pumpkin and maple syrup in place of water – which made ALL the difference. The oats still clumped together in small clusters, but this time around they developed a nice crisp without hardening up too much. Plus they required less time in the oven, a rather obvious outcome since there was less moisture to bake away.

The downside, of course, is that this recipe has a little more fat than the original – but still less than the Maple-Almond Granola. I think it’s a rather nice compromise between taste and healthfulness. Definitely gonna try experimenting with coconut oil and granola in the future!

 

Pumpkin Pecan Granola, Redux

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
6 cups quick or rolled oats
1 cup pecans
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or some combination thereof)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 300F.

2. Start by roasting the oats! (Optional.) Lightly grease two medium-sized baking sheets with sides. Divide the oats between the two and spread them out evenly. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.

3. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin, and spices; mix well.

4. In a large bowl, combine the oats and pecans. Stir to combine. Pour the pumpkin mix on top of the oats and mix until well blended.

5. Spread the oats out evenly on the baking sheets. Bake at 300F for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. If necessary, break up any large clumps with a spoon or by hand. Allow to cool on the countertop for at least a half hour before stirring in the raisins and transferring to an airtight container or ziplock bag. The granola can be frozen for longer storage.

(More below the fold…)

Maple-Almond Granola

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

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This Maple-Almond Granola from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen is easily the most delicious granola I’ve ever made. Granted, I’ve only tried a handful of recipes, but still. This one blows the rest away.

And it’s not hard to see why: in addition to liquid sweetener, this recipe also calls for an equal amount of melted coconut oil. Sugar AND fat – this granola’s got it all! The addition of fats seems to prevent the oats from clumping together, and also results in a rich, brown “roast.” The granola is crispy, but not hard. Perfection. The only other ingredients are oats and almonds, so it’s stupid easy, too.

Also new (to me): toasting the oats before you mix them with the other goodies and bake it into granola. I was curious to see how this would work, but after 20 minutes in the oven (at 300F), the oats didn’t look noticeably different. Still, I think I might try this in other granola recipes, to see how it affects the finished product (if at all).

Given how much fat is in this granola, it’ll likely be a rare treat – though I might experiment with adding a little coconut oil (say a tablespoon or two) to future recipes. Oh, the things I do for food science!

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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I had some canned pumpkin left over from the Pumpkin Spice Banana Ice Cream, so I decided to adapt the Good Morning Granola recipe found in Cooking Vegan to make pumpkin granola. The pumpkin taste is subtle, but the pumpkin pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice – help to liven things up. Enjoy mixed in soy yogurt, on ice cream, or with baked fruit.

My new morning routine? Apple pie insides topped with bran flakes and granola. YUM.

(New because I finally tired of cinnamon sugar oatmeal with dried cranberries. After two+ years of eating the stuff! What can I say, I’m not much more cognizant than a zombie before 9AM. Thinking is not an option.)

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
8 cups quick or rolled oats
1 cup pecans
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or some combination thereof)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the pumpkin, water, maple syrup, brown sugar, and spices; mix well.

3. In a large bowl, combine the oats and pecans. Stir to combine. Pour the pumpkin mix on top of the oats and mix until well blended

4. Spread the oats out evenly on two large baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point. Allow to cool on the countertop for at least a half hour before stirring in the raisins and transferring to an airtight container or ziplock bag. The granola can be frozen for longer storage.

Pro tip: If some of the clusters are still a but moist, reduce the heat to 275F and continue to bake until dry. Breaking up some of the larger clusters will also help.

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Goes perfect with pumpkin banana ice cream!
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