Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nuttzo Granola with Cinnamon, Pepitas & Apricots

Inspired in part by Sweet Tater's (almost) instant Peanut Butter Apricot Granola, and in part by the jar of Peanut Free Nuttzo that's threatening to send my daily calorie intake into the stratosphere, I've been experimenting with homemade granola. I think I've arrived at a recipe that's not too sweet and provides a healthy dose of whole grains, omega 3s, fiber and protein.

I cannot recommend Nuttzo enough, but you could substitute your favorite nut butter. And you could make all sorts of other substitutions and alterations. That's the beauty of this recipe: you could use raw honey, dried apples or berries (unsulfured and unsweetened, of course), walnuts, sunflower seeds, and so on.
Note: I add the apricots to the granola after it's been baked, to prevent them from getting tough/dry. But that's just my preference; you could bake the apricots with the rest of the mixture.

Nuttzo Granola with Cinnamon, Pepitas & Apricots
Makes 6 cups

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Peanut Free Nuttzo
1/3 cup maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (again, not the fake stuff)
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon and salt.

3. Add the Peanut Free Nuttzo, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing with a spoon and/or your hands to break up any big clumps.

4. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for 10 minutes. Remove the granola (on the baking sheet) from the oven and stir and redistribute it on the baking sheet. Return it to the oven and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, to your desired doneness. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.

5. Transfer to a bowl or storage container and add the apricots, stirring to combine. The granola should keep for a week or more when stored in an airtight container.

My husband likes this granola with plain Greek yogurt, berries and raw honey.

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