Monday, April 23, 2012
Carrot Cake Granola
With carrot cake.
In a major way.
For the last month - at least - every time the words "carrot cake" appeared in a menu or a recipe title, my only reaction was "YESPLEASENOW."
I've been eating actual carrot cake and cupcakes every time I can get my hands on them. In between, I've made carrot cake oatmeal, carrot cake pancakes, and I've bookmarked recipes for carrot cake muffins and waffles.
The chocoholic has fallen and my inner rabbit has taken over! It's madness, I tell you!
But hey - at least the madness is delicious!
This granola is easily one of the best things I've made. And eaten. On multiple occasions. With a spoon.
Sometimes just with my hands, though. I'm not too picky.
It involves oats, brown sugar, spices, shredded carrots, raisins, and pecans all baked together in a way that makes your kitchen smell amazing and your stomach lose all impressions that it could be anything but hungry. And another bonus: it makes a ton, and I mean a TON, of granola! I still have two containers full of it, and that's after consuming most of a third!
Whether you've fallen prey to the same frosting-loving-bunny urges that I have, or you just happen to enjoy granola and happen to like making it too, please please please make this stuff! Your wallet and your stomach will thank you.
Now read the recipe and get crackin'.
I've got granola to eat.
Carrot Cake Granola
Source: Chocolate and Carrots
2-1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (I used all old-fashioned and it worked just fine)
2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrots
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 300˚F, with racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, foil, or silpat mats and set them aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, puffed rice, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, honey, molasses, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and carrots (yes, almost all the rest of the ingredients). Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture, folding thoroughly to combine until all the oats and cereal are moistened.
Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheets, spreading it out evenly across the surface and pushing it down with the back of a spatula to flatten it. Place the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes - one on the top rack and one on the bottom. While the granola is baking, chop the pecans.
Remove the granola from the oven and, using a large spatula, flip it over and break up any large clumps. Add the nuts to the baking sheets and return them to the oven for another 20 minutes, rotating the sheets between the racks.
Stir the granola, breaking up any clumps that are too large for a spoon, and return it to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, or until dry and golden brown. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets. Stir in the raisins. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool, dry cabinet. Serve with yogurt, milk, soy milk, ice cream, or your fingers - enjoy!!