Chai Spiced Granola

Hello and happy weekend. I know at least Houston is having beautiful weather, even though we are in the 50's and socked in with rain.  We were supposed to go for a big family vacation to Garden City beach in SC starting today.  Needless to say we had to cancel.  12 inches of rain is expected in the area and there was already a little flooding there yesterday.  It is not even the hurricaine, just whatever low pressure system is stuck here in the South East.  We are having pretty consistent steady rain all day today and it is supposed to really pick up tonight and into tomorrow. At least there is no thunder and lightening.  That scares me the most.  My house in Houston got hit by lightening during a light rain storm and ever since then I am pretty scared of lightening.  My new-old house feels quite sturdy and it has been here for almost 90 years, so it must weather all the storms well!

Let's see, what else?  My friend Barbara had some business in the Raleigh area so she came by for a quick visit.  It was so nice to see her.  I didn't get any pictures of her but she did get a few that she sent me.  The message to me from this picture is I need to get some flags!  The prior owners had an American and a NC flag hanging, but they took the flags and left the poles.  Looks funny.  

We had another neighborhood kitty come for a visit.  It started out great.  Kitty sat outside and watched my boys and the birds at the feeder in the tree next to the door.  For some reason when the outside cat walked up to the door, Red got freaked out.  He growled, so Domino growled, and then they turned on each other.  Ears flat and back, hissing. I have not heard such carrying on from them.  I believe they transfered their territorialness to each other.  They were not happy with each other for about 30 minutes.  So that ends the door being open if there are any other cats around.  Fortunately they got over it and were like this by the end of the day.

So on to the recipe.  I posted a maple nut granola last year and earlier this week I decided to make a variation using the spices that are in chai.  I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom.  I added coconut (unsweetened) as well as pistachios, sliced almonds, hemp, chia and pumpkin seeds. It is sweetened with brown rice syrup (available at Whole Foods or other stores in the natural food section) and maple syrup. If you read the labels of most commercial products they are full of sugar as well as canola or soybean oil.  Not good. So make your own and you can control the sweetness and the fat used.  In my versions, you toast the oats and nuts first, then add the spices and liquid ingredients and bake again. I like my granola in big clusters so I don't stir it.  Let it bake without disturbing it and then let it cool in the pan.  It sticks together really nicely and then you can break it into chunks.  I have eaten this just plain as a snack as well as with some almond milk like regular cereal.  It is so good!  Perfect for Fall with the warm spices.  Feel free to substitute whatever nuts and seeds you like. if you're stuck inside with bad weather, this will make your house smell delicious!  I hope you'll give it a go! 

Chai-Spice Granola

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian almonds nuts oats fall

Ingredients (6 cups)

  • 4 cups of rolled oats (old fashioned, not instant, I prefer Bob's Red Mill Thick Cut)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the oats, pistachios, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Spread out on a large baking sheet. Toast in the oven 10 to 15 minutes, until fragrant and turning a light golden color.

Meanwhile, mix together the coconut oil, maple and brown rice syrups and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix the salt and all of the spices.

Remove toasted oats/nuts from oven and pour into a large bowl. Reduce oven to 300.

Add the hemp seeds and chia seeds to the oats and stir together. Sprinke the oat mixture with the spice mixture and mix well. Pour the liquid ingredients over the oats and mix until everything is moistened and well coated.

Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the oat mixture on the pan in an even layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, WITHOUT stirring, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Once cool, break into pieces and store in glass jars. Try not to eat it all while you're putting it away!

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