Energy Food Challenge

20 11 2008

Hopie, a fellow American-in-Paris-food-blogger, is hosting an event in an effort to support her mom, who is training for a 109-mile bike ride.  But this isn’t any ordinary bike ride, it’s also a fundraiser for research on blood cancers.  So Hopie has asked the food blogging community to help out by offering up their best energy food recipes.

Energy Food Challenge

I immediately thought of granola, high in energy and fiber, and low in fat (at least the way I make it).  I could have gone the lazy route and reposted this old recipe, but that didn’t really seem to be in the spirit of the event (the laziness, I mean, not the recipe).  Plus, I thought a seasonally appropriate update was in order.  Be warned, however, once you get hooked on homemade granola, you may never go back to the pre-packaged stuff!  Without further ado, here is my dream recipe for Fall granola – most of the ingredients are horrendously expensive here in France, so eat it up, Americans!

Cranberry-Pecan Granola

A great snack or breakfast for fall, you could even use this to top an apple or pear crisp!

500 g/ 1 lb. rolled oats
150 g/ 5 oz. pecan pieces
100 g/ 3½ oz. pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)(optional)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg (about ½ pod – if all you have is dried nutmeg, leave it out)

300 ml/ 10 oz. apple juice concentrate

200 g/ 7 oz. dried cranberries
60 ml/ 4½ Tbsp. maple syrup (the real stuff, no corn syrup allowed!)

1. Preheat oven to 175 C/ 350 F.
2. Combine the oats, pecans, pepitas, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Drizzle the apple juice concentrate over the oat mixture and toss gently to evenly moisten the oats.
3. Spread the granola mixture on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so until the oats are uniformly toasted to a nice terra cotta shade. This should take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven.
4. During the last 5-10 minutes of toasting, heat up the maple syrup in the microwave. 20-30 seconds will suffice; you just want it to be fluid and easily pourable.
5. Carefully transfer the hot granola to a large bowl and toss with the dried cranberries. Drizzle the warm syrup over the granola and toss gently to coat.
6. Spread the granola back out on the sheet pan to cool. Once cooled, it will keep in an airtight container up to 6 weeks.

Makes approximately 1 kg/ 2 lbs.  (Enough to fuel many, many bike rides.)

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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4 responses

20 11 2008
Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

I am with you on the real maple syrup – I use a Grade B in my granola and it is wonderful!! Also Agave Nectar adds a nice flavor…

20 11 2008
Hopie

Great idea! I love homemade granola. And your autumn version looks great (if impossible to make in France on a decent budget ;-)). Good thing my mom’s in the US! Thanks for participating in the challenge.

20 11 2008
Trisha

I have yet to make my own granola. Oh, I’ve wanted to, hooked as I am on plain Greek yogurt with a scatter of granola and squirt of honey. I think it’s high time to fulfill this particular aspiration (especially since yours is a lowfat version! I’ll save my fat consumption for other things, like a good hunk of dark chocolate…).

21 11 2008
croquecamille

Cathy – I haven’t tried agave nectar, but I’ll keep my eyes open for it. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hopie – Thanks, it’s my pleasure. I figured I’d throw my US readers a bone – they must get so tired of me going on about duck and raw-milk cheeses…

Trisha – And if you use all-natural OJ, there’s no refined sugar, either! As an added bonus, making your own granola makes the house smell fantastic!




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