Monday, December 23, 2013

Carrot Cake Granola. What?

You read that right.  Carrot Cake Granola.  Oh my gosh, it's out of this world!  Really!  I've never made granola before, and maybe its just dumb beginner's luck, but I can't imagine doing any better than this. Simple ingredients like oats, coconut, and carrots get it started.

One important tip; make sure and chop the carrot small so it can completely dehydrate.

Then a little oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  I had all these on hand which made it even better.

Melt the sugar and oil with the syrup, add in a little spice, and pour it over the dry yummies and it's off to the oven.

Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for a total of 45 minutes.

It comes out a nice toasty brown and smells amazing.

The carrots dry up to small little flecks of flavor, so don't be weirded out by carrot in your breakfast food.  Also, because they dry up so small, don't skimp on the amount of carrot you put in.

When it cools, toss in the rest of the traditional carrot cake ingredients and it's good to go: pineapple, raisins, and walnuts.

I tested it out for breakfast this morning with milk and was not disappointed.  This is going to be fantastic Christmas morning for breakfast.  Now to create some more granola from some of my other favorite flavor inspirations.

Carrot Cake Granola
2 Cups uncooked oatmeal
1 Cup unsweetened coconut (I went with grated, but maybe slivers next time)
3/4 Cup finely chopped carrot (I used matchstick pieces and chopped them)
1/4 Cup coconut oil (been wanting to find a reason to buy this for some time)
1/4 Cup real maple syrup (slightly more if you want your granola to clump)
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 heavy tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Bring to a boil the oil, syrup and brown sugar over medium heat.  Add the spices and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine oatmeal, coconut, and carrot.  Pour the hot liquid over the oats and mix well to thoroughly coat.  Spread over a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 30 minutes.  Stir and bake another 15 minutes.  Turn off the oven, open the door, and leave the granola to cool slowly and continue to dry if needed. When cool, crumble the granola into a clean bowl and toss in the raisins, pineapple and walnuts. Store in mason jars or ziploc baggies.  Makes 2 quarts of yummy.