November 10, 2012
I decided to mix things up a bit today. I don’t often do these recipes early in the day. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever made these recipes earlier than 3 pm. I don’t know why! The lighting for the pictures is so much better! I told Zach, that I’m going to start making our dinners during breakfast, just because the light is that much better. Don’t you agree? Hey, we are somewhat new at this. We can only get better! Anyway, back to the point, I decided to go with a homemade granola. I’ve been wanting to make my own rendition here for a while. It keeps well and it’s not only the perfect, hearty breakfast, it’s the perfect snack too!
So, I didn’t pair this dish with a beer…for obvious reasons. I suggest a cup of OJ or a Latte. I had fun making this granola. It was easy and the end result was delicious.
I am not a huge fan of oatmeal. I don’t know if it’s the odd texture, but I’ve never loved it. I do however love granola. Chunks of crispy goodness, combined with whatever flavors you want! That’s what is so great about granola, you can add almost anything you want! The possibilities are endless!
I decided to take this granola recipe to the next level. This recipe is a blend of rolled oats, dark brown sugar, molasses, chocolate peanut butter cups, dried mango slices and more. Oh and not to mention the second most important part – the cashews!
The mango is a great addition to this dish, but dried banana slices would be great as well. I think that’s what I will do next time!
There were two important things I learned from making this recipe for the first time. Number one, you want chunks! Don’t try to make these into perfect little pieces! The more chunks the better, and the bigger the better (to an extent). Number two, wait for the granola to cool before you put the chocolate in, unless you want a chocolatey mess. Don’t get me wrong, the chocolatey mess is delicious. It’s just not as pretty as it would have been with chunks of chocolate instead of melted chocolate. It’s totally up to you though. If a chocolatey mess is what you’re going for, then go for it!
This dish is so easy, and although it’s not super quick to make, it keeps for days if you keep it sealed up. It’s one of those things you can make ahead of time and save for a week of delicious, nutritious breakfast, and if you’re super crazy then lunch and dinner too!
This is a great recipe for kids too. Not only does it have some very important nutrients (especially if you top with some fresh fruit..banana is best I think), but it’s chocolatey too. If you’re trying to convert some to a granola for breakfast, start with this recipe.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups roasted/salted cashews
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher fine salt
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup molasses or maple syrup
- 1 to 2 cups mini chocolate peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dried mango slices, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, cashews, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Mix until just combined. In another large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and molasses (or syrup). Pour the wet into the dry, and stir until JUST combined (you want clumps…clumps are good).
- Spray your baking sheets with a non stick spray, and spread the mixture evenly over both baking sheets.
- Bake at half hour intervals for an hour and a half, taking time at each half hour interval to fold the mixture over a couple of times with a spatula. If you want the granola to be more fine then I would suggest mixing every 15 minutes, but I may have mentioned that I like clumps. This process also helps the mixture to brown evenly all over.
- If at an hour and a half, the mixture still isn’t dark or crispy enough for you, go ahead and let cook for another 15 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least a half hour, maybe even an hour if you are feeling ambitious. Transfer to a large bowl and slowly mix in the chocolate peanut butter cups and the mango.
- Top with banana slices and serve.