Super Granola

supergranolaIt just wouldn’t be a veggie recipe blog without some granola! Usually I don’t really eat breakfast, just a cup of juice or tea. But lately, it has been so darn cold, (I mean by Los Angeles standards) that I feel like I need the extra calories just to brave the frigid weather. I  have been being very lazy and grabbing a granola bar on my way out the door, I don’t even know who bought them (sorry roommate or husband!). A granola bar sounds harmless, but processed packaged food generally is anything but, and so was born the Super Granola. And like me, you probably have at least half of these ingredients lying around anyway. I call this Super Granola because I put just about every conceivable ingredient in here I could think of, and as many super foods as I had on hand. I won’t pretend like this isn’t chalk full of calories and sugar, but hey! It’s the good kind of calories, and the best kind of sugar, packed with manganese and zinc. With 11 kinds of nuts, seeds, and grains, this granola also has tons of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Not to mention, 1/4 cup serving has about 15% of your daily iron requirement. Plus, when it’s baking, the whole house smells like oatmeal cookies. This would make the perfect pre-workout meal (or gift?) and will keep you full all morning. The ingredients are flexible, omit or add whatever you want. This particular combo was dangerously delicious, but leaving some things out or adding something new won’t hurt. Plus it’s gluten free and will keep for a few weeks in a airtight container. Great for traveling or keeping in your desk at work, if strong will power is on your side.

Super Granola

makes about 14 1/4 c servings

3.5 cups gluten free raw oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 medjool date, pitted and diced up

1/4 c hazelnuts, chopped

1/4 c pecans, chopped

1/4 c flax seed meal

2 tbs chia seeds

1/4 cup dry quinoa (I used a tri-color variety, any color will do)

2 tbs almonds, chopped

1 tbs cashews, chopped

1/4 cup raw hemp hearts

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup walnuts, choppd

2 tbs raisins

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup grade B maple syrup

1/4 cup raw dark agave

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tb vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (all the way up to the spice.) In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, then add to the dry. Toss well to incorporate. It should be sticky and clumpy but not wet. If it’s not holding together even a bit, add a little more maple syrup. Give it a taste and see if you want more pumpkin pie spice, I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by cinnamon so I kept the amount low here. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the granola on there, mine piled about 1/2 high. This might require a few batches. Put the pan in the over for about 20 minutes, pulling it out at the 10 minute mark to give it a good stir. Many recipes say to leave it in longer; my first batch was beautifully golden at 22 minutes, but burnt at 30, so keep an eye on it! You want it to be a perfect golden color, not brown. Once you pull it out of the oven, carefully press it down into the pan with the back of a fork, which helps the clumpy clusters form, and allow to cool completely, untouched. Once cool, you can break it up into chunks with your hands and put it into an air tight container. Try not to eat the whole pan!!! Seriously, it’s tempting.

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