Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chia Chai Granola

Are you a granola eater?  I never have been.  I think the first granola bar I had was probably back in the 70's and it was one of those break-your-teeth hard bars.  Not particulary tasty and really not very healthy.

And then a few years ago I heard of a recipe that intrigued me (see 11-14-11 post).  And I loved it.  And it's all I've been making since.  But when I heard about a chai-inspired granola, I thought I'd try it.  I love these little tiny bits of the chia and flax.  I also added some amaranth to it for one more bit of tiny crunch (I was easily able to get these at my local health-food market in the bulk section so I didn't have to buy more than I needed).  I love to snack on it as it is, but it's also wonderful in yogurt or ice cream.  And the chai flavor really complements the cooler weather.  It all just works.

CHIA CHAI GRANOLA (makes about 6 cups)

4 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like....I used pumpkin seeds this time)
1/4 cup amaranth, optional
2 Tbsp golden flax seed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil (I used to have to get this in a health food store, but have recently found it in my local supermarket)
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 300F.  Prepare two cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, grains, and spices.

In a smaller microwave-safe bowl, combine honey and oil.  Heat for about 30 seconds and stir to combine well.  Add to dry mixture and mix well to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Stir whites into granola mixture, folding to coat.

Evenly distribute mixture between the two baking sheets, spreading evenly.  Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking to prevent edges from burning (it is also a good idea to switch racks halfway through).

Allow mixture to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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