Friday 22 May 2015

Paleo Granola

This is one of those "if I do say so myself" recipes. It is really freaking delicious.
If you know me then you know this is high praise indeed as I tend to be very critical of my own cooking.

This has not been an easy recipe to create. It's been the source of much cursing as I've thrown out many batches of burned nuts or had to choke down just plain old boring cereal. Unhappy face.

I think the win is from the multiple layers of flavour. By using both honey and maple syrup you get this incredibly delicious depth of flavour that using just one or the other doesn't provide. Using butter/ghee and honey means some of the chunks end up with a caramel or toffee taste as they caramelize during baking. O.M.G.

You'll also notice I've used some salted nuts in the mix. Adding a few salted nuts adds a little hit of flavour to each cereal cluster (kinda reminiscent of salted caramel - just sayin').  Use unsalted nuts if you like it better that way. In the recipe I've listed our favourite nut mixture however feel free to change up to whatever tickles your fancy. 

If you are going to make primal or paleo type granolas/breakfast "cereals" I would highly recommend that you get an oven thermometer. If your oven runs hot the nuts can turn from pale to incinerated in what seems like a millisecond; too cool and it never seem to cook and the granola turns out too dry. (I didn't think it was possible for a cereal to be too dry considering that we generally add some kind of milk or milk-like product to it, but believe me it can. I've done it.)

OK ready? Let's do this.

Small bowl
Large bowl
Food processor or chopping knife
Whisk or immersion blender
2 cookie sheets
Parchment paper

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup honey (warmed so it mixes easier)
1/4 cup ghee, melted (or butter for primal folks)
one egg white
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla (have you tasted the Madagascar stuff? Just wow.)

2 cups almonds
1 cup roasted cashews - salted
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup macadamia nuts - salted
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup large flake unsweetened coconut
1/2 cut finely chopped dehydrated fruit bits of your choice
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds briefly pulsed to break the husk

Preheat oven to 300 F

Pulse almonds, cashews, pecans and macadamia nuts in your food processor (or chop with your knife) until they are a size you would like to eat. I usually do this in a few batches otherwise you can end up with dust and huge chunks instead of uniform sizes.

Place chopped nuts in your big bowl and add the rest of the nuts and seeds.

In the small bowl whisk (or use immersion blender) the egg white til frothy, add liquids and spices and mix well.

Add the liquids to the nut-seed mixture and combine well. It will seem a bit wet but no worries.

Press the mixture flat into 2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Bake 20-30 minutes rotating sheets at 10 minutes, then every 5 minutes thereafter, until at the thinnest parts of your layer - usually the edges - the nuts are golden brown, dry and crispy. The thicker parts will be lighter coloured and may give a little if you press them. That's what you want; it will firm up as it cools and you get chewy bits along with your crispy bits.

Let cool, break into chunks. Store in an airtight container.

I recommend putting almost all of the granola in your container then giving it to someone to hide before tasting it. Leave only a few chunks for you to taste. I made a batch yesterday and as there was no one to hide it from me I ended up on a granola-binge high. Roll me out of the kitchen please.

This stuff is seriously energy dense so go easy on it. 
1 cup contains approximately 760kcal; 20g protein, 64g fat, 44g carbs of which 14gs are fiber.


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