|Orange you glad for summer flavors?|
One of the best things about granola, though? If you haven't jumped onto the Love with Food or Fruigees train, you can still send your taste buds on a tropical granola vacation. This granola boasts at least one vegetable, several fruits, healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidant powerhouses like cacao powder and tumeric - which means this granola is a great choice for breakfast, snacking or a before-bed treat! To get your plane ticket, just gather the ingredients listed below (optional substitutions indicated).
|Inspiration? Check. Ingredients? Check. Netflix? Double Check.|
1.5 cups of buckwheat groats
1.5 cups of cereal (I find that puffed rice gives great body and lowers the calories per serving
3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of buckwheat flakes
1/2 cup of rice flakes (both or either can be substituted for gluten free oats, if tolerated)
1/4 cup of chia seeds
1/4 cup of (dairy free) chocolate chips
1/3 cup of cacao nibs (or more chocolate chips)
2 TBSP of cinnamon
2 TBSP of cacao powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric
3 chopped dates (or other dried fruit)
1/4 cup of coconut oil (olive oil or other favorite cooking oil would also work)
1 TBSP of water
3/4 a ripe banana
1 medium orange (for juice and zest)
1 Fruigees 24 Carrot Orange Pack (or 3.5 oz of pureed orange/carrot/banana)
1/2 a small grated squash
1 TBSP of vanilla extract
To begin your tropical granola, first preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the really easy part - dumping all of your ingredients in a bowl and mixing! I like to add my dry ingredients first and stir to blend. One of the newest tricks I've learned to ultimate granola clusters? Gather about 1/4-1/2 of all of your dry ingredients, add them to a food processor or high speed blender (either in one batch or several, depending upon its size) with about 1 TBSP (just enough to dampen) of water and pulse the machine a few times.
|I did a couple mini batches in my Nutribullet!|
For the fruit components, you can bake an unripe banana in an oven (also at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the peel turns black), pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds if ripe but not mushy, or add 3/4 of a spotty banana straight to the granola. As for the orange, if you have a fruit package (or even a baby food), you can squeeze it straight into the bowl. If not, you can either exclude, replace with more banana (but receive a less orange flavor), or add more orange puree. For the rest of the recipe's orange zest and puree, grate the skin of one clean orange into the mix. Then, throw the rest of the orange into a blender (or alternately squeeze out the juice) and add the puree to the granola mix. To finish off your arm workout, then grate the second summer ingredient: yellow squash, which acts as a binder to help "chew-ify" the granola while adding some mild veggies!
|Making "grate" things!|
Once your granola workout is complete, place it in a thin layer onto your baking sheets (mine took up two full trays and half of the third). If you want a crumbly, loose granola, leave it loose in the trays. If, like me, you prefer a chewy and crunchy clumps, pack the raw granola tightly. Then, pop your babies in the oven and wait for your kitchen to start smelling, according to my sister, like a mix of vanilla and orange. There are worse culinary perfumes, am I right?
|Good things come in three's, right?|
Then, all you have left to do is dig in! On top of banana ice cream (or real ice cream!), in a yogurt parfait, or just by the handful! I especially love it with my bag of granola in one hand and a jar of sunflower butter in the other - in my mind, it is a night-snack match made in heaven!
|Just a few yummy ideas!|
*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link love!*
What's your favorite unique granola ingredient? How do you break out of a food rut? Comment below!