Tag Archives: granola

Tropical Cashew Granola

 It’s officially summer, and I can’t wait to get to the beach. I’m only four weeks away from a trip to Maine with a bunch of friends–it can’t get here soon enough! It’s super woodsy and we definitely won’t see any palm trees, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be eating tons of tropical fruit while we’re up there.

How, you may ask, will we have tropical fruit in the wilds of Maine? In the form of my new favorite granola! 
Yes, I am that person who packs homemade granola into her luggage. And why wouldn’t I? It’s full of whole grains, nuts, and fruit, so it’s super satisfying. It’s also refined sugar-free, gluten free, and vegan, so this is one recipe that will fit all my friends’ various dietary needs.

Between easy breakfasts and snacks, I know we will go through the full two-quart batch in no time. I mean, who can resist this Tropical Cashew Granola?! It’s loaded with dried mango and pineapple, toasted coconut, and cashews–perfect for any day at the beach. 
Normally, I am not a huge fan of dried fruit (especially in granola), but I make exceptions for dried mango and pineapple. I’ll eat a whole six-ounce bag in a day! The sweet mango, tangy pineapple, and toasted coconut work incredibly well with the crunchy oats and cashews. A moderate amount of sweetener and a full teaspoon of salt keep it all just sweet enough to enjoy with your favorite yogurt and fresh fruit. I can’t get enough. 

Having made a lot of granola in the last few years, I can tell you that the homemade stuff is a snap to put together and infinitely better than any boxed variety. When you make something from scratch, you can control the ingredients and customize it to your taste.

For instance, I love my Maple Pecan Granola (which I used as the base for this recipe), but sometimes I want my granola to have more clusters than that recipe allows. So, I took the basic formula and swapped half the maple syrup for brown rice syrup. It’s super thick and allows the oats and cashews to cluster a bit without adding excessive amounts sweetener. And since brown rice syrup has a mild flavor, the maple is still front and center!

Tropical Cashew Granola is like summer in a bowl! Don’t be surprised if the combination of mango, pineapple, coconut, and buttery cashews has you packing a jar for your vacation, too! 

  Looking for more granola? Check out my Peanut Butter Granola!

Tropical Cashew Granola
makes about two quarts

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup*
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups raw unsalted cashews, chopped
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
6 ounces unsweetened dried mango, chopped into bite-size pieces
6 ounces unsweetened dried pineapple, chopped into bite-size pieces

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in oats, cashews, and coconut. Spread mixture on prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes, stirring at the 15 and 30 minute marks to prevent burning.

When granola is done baking, let cool five minutes before stirring in dried mango and pineapple pieces. Let granola cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Note:

Brown rice syrup can be found near the honey and syrups at most well-stocked grocery stores, or on Amazon. If you cannot find it or do not wish to use it, you may use an equal volume of mild honey or maple syrup. Your granola will not have many clusters, but it will still be delicious.

Granola Cookies

 By now, you all know how much I love granola. After a lifetime of insisting I hated it, I tried the homemade variety, and the rest is history. There is always a giant jar of the stuff on my counter, full of crispy, glossy oats and whatever odds and ends I can find in my cookie mix-in cabinet.

Yes, I have an entire cabinet dedicated to cookie mix-ins. Doesn’t everybody?! 😜 

My current batch is a play on my Maple Pecan Granola, made with pecans and almonds, large flaked coconut, chia seeds, and brown rice syrup to encourage a little clustering. I usually eat it with yogurt and fruit, but last week, I got a little crazy and bypassed the breakfast option in favor of cookies.

I took my favorite chewy oatmeal cookie base, swapped in granola for 2/3 of the quantity of oats, and threw in some chocolate chips. Within an hour (because this dough doesn’t require a chill!), I was biting into warm, chewy, chocolaty, nutty Granola Cookies. 

I love this recipe as-is, but I’ve already been dreaming up other flavors. How about peanut butter? Swap in 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter for one stick of the softened butter, and use my Peanut Butter Granola! Yum! If you like dried fruit in your granola, you could swap out some or all of the chocolate chips for raisins, dried cranberries, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

You guys, these Granola Cookies are so good that I’ve made three batches in five days. I’m out of granola mid-week and I’m not even miffed about it. Nope–changing my routine in the name of dessert has been totally worth it. And even if it weren’t, I could console myself with a cookie or two. 

 Granola Cookies
makes about 5 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/2 cups granola (homemade or purchased)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in dark brown and granulated sugars, followed by eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture in two installments, mixing to combine. Beat in oats and granola, followed by chocolate chips. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, making sure the mounds of dough are at least 2 inches apart.

Bake 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pans top to bottom in the oven before baking for an additional 4-5 minutes. Cookies are done when the tops are no longer doughy-looking. Let cool on the pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Peanut Butter Granola

 It must just be leftovers week here on E2 Bakes Brooklyn.

Yesterday, I posted a baked french toast recipe that came to be because a friend gave me two loaves of day-old artisan bread. Today, I’m bringing you my new favorite granola recipe, all because an out-of-town friend gave me most of a jar of peanut butter that she had as a snack in her hotel room, and another gave me a one-pound bag of honey-roasted peanuts after a party I catered with him. My friends just like to give me food, apparently. And I am happy to take anything they give me and try to make it into something delicious. Today, I succeeded. 

This Peanut Butter Granola is ridiculously good. It’s almost like having peanut butter cookies for breakfast! Except that it’s high in protein and totally whole grain, so it’s actually good for you! And it gets better: this recipe takes 90 minutes from the time you turn on the oven to when you put the cooled granola in an airtight container. On top of all that, it’s simple as can be 😊

Just whisk together equal parts peanut butter, maple syrup, and olive oil, along with some vanilla. This base will keep everything crispy, sweet, and peanut buttery (of course). Next comes a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. While I would have loved to keep this recipe refined sugar-free, this small amount helps the finished product get extra crunchy. If you don’t want to use brown sugar, you may substitute coconut or Demerara sugars. Add in just a touch of cinnamon and some salt. Neither will have a prominent flavor here–they just allow the peanut butter to shine. Without them, our granola could be overly sweet and a little bland.

How sad is the idea of bland peanut butter anything?! 😭

Once the liquid ingredients are ready to go, it’s time to fold in the oats and honey-roasted peanuts. They are used here in an almost 50/50 ratio. There are slightly more oats, but rest assured that there are plenty of peanuts in every crunchy bite! If that amount of chopped nuts sounds like too much for your taste, feel free to replace some of them with an equal volume of oats. 

 
   
After everything is mixed together, spread the granola on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake the granola for 40-45 minutes at 300F, stirring every fifteen minutes. By the time it’s done cooking, your house will smell unbelievable! Let the granola cool in the pan on a cooling rack before transferring it to an airtight container for up to three weeks.

I like to eat this granola with Greek yogurt and fruit, but it’s also great with milk, or just by itself as an afternoon snack. How good would a handful be with some chocolate chips?! Oooh, or peanut butter chips! However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll love this Peanut Butter Granola!

  
Looking for more granola? Check out my easy Maple Pecan Granola!

Peanut Butter Granola
makes about 4.5 cups

1/4 cup natural or creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar*, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats*
2 cups honey roasted peanuts*, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold the oats and chopped peanuts into the mixture.

Once everything is coated in the peanut butter mixture, spread it in an even layer on the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Cool granola in the pan on a rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Notes:

1. Coconut or Demerara sugars may be substituted.
2. Use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola.
3. If this is too many peanuts for you, replace 1/2 cup of them with an equal volume of old-fashioned oats.

Maple Pecan Granola

IMG_0772Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 has been wonderful so far 😊 As I spent the last of 2015 working like crazy (nannying, catering two parties for my friend David, making regular cookie deliveries to a jeweler downtown, figuring out this food blogging thing, etc), traveling to Texas and back, and making dinner for 300 of my closest acquaintances, I hope 2016 brings a lot of naps. And real food. Don’t get me wrong, I love cookies and pie and cake, but since I’ve eaten those things at regular intervals for the last eight weeks, I am finding myself craving vegetables. So this month, I’m going to make a little effort to post some healthier recipes. There will still be plenty of cookies (because cookies), but I plan to post a few whole grain items and savory dishes, just for balance!

 I’m starting this healthier January with a favorite: Maple Pecan Granola. Super crispy, crunchy granola coated in a salty-sweet mixture of maple syrup and olive oil. This recipe comes from the brilliant Molly Wizenberg. She writes a long-running blog, has published two books, and co-owns (almost) three restaurants in Seattle with her husband, Brandon. Oh, and she and her friend, author Matthew Amster-Burton, have a hilarious weekly podcast called Spilled Milk that I absolutely love. If you see me walking down the street with headphones on, that is almost certainly what I’m listening to. Sometimes they make recipes to taste together, and other times they taste junk foods from various countries, and while ostensibly that doesn’t seem like it would be laugh-out-loud funny, it totally is. All that is to say, I first heard about this particular recipe on their Granola episode. It was already very simple, but I’ve pared it down even further.

 This granola goes well with just about any combination of fruit and yogurt, and I think a tablespoon or two could really amp up some oatmeal. Maple Pecan Granola does not have huge clusters since there aren’t a ton of sweeteners or add-ins, but the texture is so crisp that you won’t miss them. The magic here is in the simplicity. Mix together five ingredients, spread on a pan, bake in a low oven (stirring occasionally to prevent burning), and let cool. That’s it. This granola keeps well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks. If you have a large family or want to give some away as gifts, this recipe doubles easily.

With only five ingredients, you might think this recipe could be a little…boring…but it is so much more than the sum of its parts. If you need more excitement with your breakfast, you’re in luck! This recipe is infinitely adaptable. Don’t like pecans? Replace them with any nut or seed that you love. Wish there were dried fruit or chocolate? Stir in some chopped dates or semisweet chocolate chips while the granola is cooling. Maple Pecan Granola can take almost anything you throw at it😊

Take this recipe and make it your own this year.

 Maple Pecan Granola
adapted from Granola No. 5 by Molly Wizenberg
makes about five cups

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil*
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups chopped pecans*

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in oats and pecans. Spread mixture to cover the sheet pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes to prevent burning. Let granola cool completely on the pans. Serve with yogurt and fruit, or milk of choice.

Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Notes:

1. Melted coconut oil may be substituted.
2. You may use any nut or seed that you prefer.