And then a crazy idea hit me. What if I could make a granola recipe packed with all of my favorite green smoothie ingredients? Coconut? Check. Green tea? Check. Even spinach and zucchini make an appearance, though with more (green-tastic) color than flavor. One late night of baking later, and my huge batch is already almost gone...at least I get my servings of veggies, right?
|Green never looked so good!|
Granola Produced: 3 trays (that lasted around 8 days...oops)
1 cup of buckwheat groats
1 cup of puffed cereal (I used puffed rice, but any would work)
2 1/2 cups of seeds (or nuts, I went with sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds)
1 cup each of buckwheat and rice flakes (could be replaced with gluten free oats, if tolerated)
1/3 cup of cacao nibs
1/3 cup of coconut flakes
1 TBSP of coconut flour
1/4 cup of chocolate chips (I love EnjoyLife's gluten and dairy free baking chunks)
3 green tea packets, cut open (I use decaf, but caffeinated would definitely boost the granola's energizing power!)
2 TBSP cacao powder
1 TBSP spirulina powder (optional, but boosts the green hue, vitamins and minerals!)
1 TBSP maca powder (optional)
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
2 mashed bananas (either extremely ripe and fresh or frozen and defrosted)
1/4 cup of water and 1 handful of spinach blended into a puree
3/4 of a grated zucchini
3 TBS of cooking oil (coconut, grapeseed, olive, etc)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 dates (or equivalent amount of dried fruit)
To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This granola doesn't require any fancy mixing, so throw all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and consider yourself a chef. Concerning the green tea, I simply cut three packets open with a knife and poured it straight onto the rest of the ingredients. One of the easiest ways to get your tea fix? I think so.
|Easy as 1, 2, 3!|
Once you mix all the dry and wet ingredients together, it's time to load up your baking trays. If you're a clumpy, dense granola lover, pack the unbaked granola firmly into the tray and don't stir while it bakes. If you prefer the opposite, leave the granola loose in the pan and stir halfway through the cooking time.
|Rows of green...|
After the baking mission is complete, let your trays cool for at least a few hours, if not overnight (although I certainly still stole plenty of small bites!). Using a spoon or your fingers, then break the granola into clusters and begin the feast! This was honestly one of my favorite granola batches - the perfect combination of chewy, crunchy, and sweet - and I loved that I couldn't even taste the "healthy" ingredients snuck inside. Since there's never too much of a good food, I sprinkled my granola over yogurt, oatmeal, and even on green smoothie bowls.
|A few of my favorite things...|
*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's Link Party!*
What's your favorite granola flavor? Do you ever hide veggies in unexpected places? Comment below!