{ maple + oat + chocolate granola crack }

granola | DisplacedHousewife

maple + oat + chocolate granola crack
 { sainthood }

Hey honies, what’s shakin’? Let’s talk about granola. I have some granola issues. First, I think it’s overpriced. Except a particular pecan one that you can get at Trader Joe’s which is fab. The other one I crave is just shy of $10 a bag, and I get maybe two bowls from it. That’s extortion. My other beef? Unless I’m trying to make the next weight class, this so-called health food is often pretty unhealthy: high in fat, high in sugar. I’m totally ok with my sweet treats being gut bombs, but granola? Nope. I like to feel like I’m being really pious. I’m talking sainthood.

I’ve been working on this particular granola for months. Since pre-Christmas. Granola is one of those things that is easy as hell to make, you just have to follow some guidelines. You want the heat low, add smaller ingredients mid-way through (so they don’t burn) and add enough fat (or binding ingredients) to get it to chunk up. I’m all about the granola chunk.

I’m currently obsessed with acai bowls.  At least one a day, if not more. A non-negotiable component to the acai bowl is the 1/4 cup of granola to throw on top. It gives the whole thing some meat and substance. With my favorite granola bankrupting me (and the closest Trader Joe’s 30 minutes away), I had to sort this out in my kitchen. Without further adieu, let’s get crunchy.

Before We Get Started:

  • I grouped the ingredients not by the quantity, but by how they’re going to be assembled. I hope this helps. It makes it easier for me to read a recipe that way, rather than largest quantity of ingredient to the least. For this recipe, anyway…
  • Keep the temperature low on this. I had to throw away quite a few batches thinking I could speed up the process (because I’m impatient). Don’t. Go low and slow.
  • Make sure to press the granola down into the pan after you stir…that will help you get those granola chunks that I’m in love with.
  • Feel free to swap and substitute ingredients. These are merely some of my favorites. You could easily add in some coconut…leave out the hemp seeds. Goji berries? Why not.
  • There is only a hint of banana in here…it is used mostly to help things stick together. So don’t skip it.
  • If you want to cut down on fat and sugar, reduce the oil and the maple syrup to 1/4 cup each. It will still taste delicious (I’ve made it this way), but you won’t get that many granola chunks.
  • This is perfect for breakfast, acai bowls…snacking? My kids have been noshing the crap out of this. I’m thinking the chunks would be yummy in a cookie…maybe?
  • Both of my kids gave this a double thumbs-up. It didn’t quite merit a Shut Up & Eat as it wasn’t a meal…but since I’m a big fan of cereal for dinner…I’m thinking…maybe just this once…an exception.

chocolate + oat + maple granola | DisplacedHousewife

{ maple + oat + chocolate granola crack}

Makes about 6-7 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups oatmeal (I use Quaker Old-Fashion Oats)
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped and whole pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, whole
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil (I used Sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about one ripe banana)
  • 1 tablespoon pure almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4 cup cocoa nibs (or regular chopped, dark or semi-sweet chocolate)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Put the oats, quinoa flakes, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix together the maple syrup, veggie oil, mashed banana, almond extract, cinnamon and sea salt. **This works best if you use a blender to mix the wet ingredients…the more incorporated and ground up that banana is, the more clumps you’ll have.
  5. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oat mixture and blend well.
  6. Put half on each baking sheet, pressing down to make the mixture clump together.
  7. Put in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, add the flax and hemp seeds. Mix well and, again, press the mixture down to make it clump a bit. Put the baking sheets back in the oven for another 30 minutes (for a total of 60 minutes baking time) to finish cooking. It smells delicious, doesn’t it?
  9. When done, pull the sheets out of the oven and add in the cocoa nibs. Press them down into the granola mixture and let cool for 1 hour.
  10. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week…freezing any leftover for a rainy day. But there won’t be any. Promise.

If you’re so inclined, here is my acai bowl: put one frozen, unsweetened acai packet, 2 tablespoons protein powder (I use Metagenics), a handful of spinach and a 1/4 cup of plain almond milk in the Vitamix (or high-speed blender). Puree the crap out of the mixture. Pour in a bowl. Top with your granola, blueberries, banana slices, a sprinkle of cocoa nibs and a dash of goji berries. Boom. You’re done. So maybe you won’t be sainted, but what about knighted? This is all besides the point. Your skin will glow and you’ll become addicted. And you won’t feel guilty for all the cake and other sins you’re been committing consuming.

acai bowl | DisplacedHousewife

{ on my mind }
  • This ‘tell-me-my-age-website’ sucks balls. One photo it tells me I’m 28 (YEAH), the next photo I’m 86 (and calling my therapist and scheduling a facelift). If you haven’t gone there, don’t. Just…don’t.
  • A little chicken update…my babies are getting bigger and I’m thinking we’re about 4-6 weeks from eggs. Fresh. Eggs. Daily. I can hardly wait. I’m on the edge of my seat. Have you ever seen a chicken run? It’s HI-larious.
  • I have been on a cake bender. Well, in my defense, it’s birthday season. I think I’ve pretty much stuck the landing on my chocolate cake. I’m also pretty excited with that Cereal Milk Cake I made last week. And I’ve been humble as hell lately. Are you interested in cake recipes? I can get those up here if you all are interested…
  • Kim Kardashian’s lips. They’re getting big. Like, scary big. She needs to stop. What can we do about this? In other Kardashian news, the Bruce special coming up on E!…well, let’s just say I. Can. Hardly. Wait.
  • If you’re looking for a book to read, pick up All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s so beautifully written, it’s amazing. Captivating. Transporting. What other cheesy descriptors can I use?
  • Have you ever seen a funeral in Taiwan? China? In Taiwan, they somewhat resemble a Big Easy funeral with the brass instruments that play as they parade down the street. They wear different colored paper vests that symbolize their importance to the deceased. So there are groups of mourners in white vests, purple vests…you get the picture. They also pay people to come join the genuine mourners to make the deceased look more important. In both countries, they’ve added a whole new element to this Dali-like scene with…drumroll please…strippers. I’m not making any of this up. Read about it here.
  • There was a dead snake in my yard. A REALLY big, dead snake. With it’s head bit off. We haven’t talked very much about the raccoons that plague me. But let’s start today, shall we? They like to poop on my roof. As in, on the roof of my house. Google ‘raccoon poop’ and it will seriously make you want to curl up in a ball, in the corner, rock back and forth and suck your thumb. It can carry worm eggs, that nothing (except boiling water) can kill. These worms get inside you and burrow in your brain and your dead. Just like that. This actually happens. As you can imagine, I’m completely OCD about getting rid of the raccoons. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. I recently sprayed a homemade cayenne concoction all over their roof latrine to get them the hell out of there. And then the headless snake showed up. On the lawn, near the kid’s tree swing. I don’t know about you, but I think they’re sending me a message. Game on, dudes. Game on.
  • Happy Hump Day. xox

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