Crunchy Pecan & Cranberry Granola
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Muesli is a very widely consumed product in the Netherlands, from what I gather.
I always thought granola and muesli were the same, but I learned very quickly that must not be the case. Nearly no Dutch person I've met so far understands what I mean when I say, "I make my own homemade granola." But as soon as I say, "muesli" their eyes widen and they nod in understanding.
Needless to say the nutrition geek in me sought out to research the difference between these two terms.
Here are my findings for you, simplified.
Dietitian's Definition: Both granola and muesli typically consist of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. The main differences are as follows: GRANOLA: includes an added sweetener and oil (therefore higher calorie) and baked/cooked
MUESLI: free from added sugars and oils (therefore lower calorie), and usually uncooked; lovingly referred to as the "healthier sibling" of granola
Making this crunchy granola is super simple and ready in only 5 easy steps:
Step 1: gather ingredients.
Step 2: mix together the dry ingredients, and separately mix together the wet ingredients.
Step 3: add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated (do not add the dried fruit).
Step 4: bake until lightly golden brown and allow to cool.
Step 5: once cooled add the dried fruit, mix to incorporate, and enjoy!
How easy is that?
So what to do with all this granola?
Here's an idea: I used mine recipe to make this delicious breakfast yogurt parfait (also makes for a great snack)
... seriously, I have this almost every morning.
... the presentation may change, but the general ideas is much the same
Crunchy Pecan & Cranberry Granola
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free
Yield: 16 servings Prep Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 40 min Total Time: 50 min
4 cups (400g) old-fashioned rolled oats (if gluten-free, purchase GF oats)
1 cup (100g) raw pecans, quartered
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup (35g) raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (35g) raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup (60mL) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60mL) agave syrup (or sub maple syrup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (30g) dried cranberries
1/4 cup (40g) chia seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F (180C).
Add all dry ingredients (except dried fruit) to a large bowl, mixing to combine.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, agave syrup and salt until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.
Evenly distribute over a large cookie sheet or glass casserole dish, lined with baking paper, and place in the oven.
Remove from oven and stir every 10-15 minutes to avoid burning and to ensure even browning. Once lightly golden brown remove from the oven and allow to cool, about 40 minutes. Note: the granola will harden as it cools.
Once cooled, add dried fruit and chia seeds and stir to combine. Place in an airtight container and enjoy with plant-based yogurt or milk, on smoothies, or on its own as a snack.
*If nuts and/or coconut flakes are already roasted, add it in after the granola is finished baking along with the dried fruit.
Variations: add your own desired raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or spices such as cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Speed-it-up: you can distribute the mixture over two cookie sheets or two oven-safe dishes on two racks in the oven - be sure to keep close and stir often to avoid burning. This will shorten the cooking time considerably.
Storage: store in an airtight container for up to one month.
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