Tag Archives: Granola

Nori Granola #BrunchWeek

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Nori Granola

Granola has long enjoyed a sturdy yet largely undeserved reputation for being a health food. Kind of like a burrito from Chipotle! Ha! Seriously though, have you read the labels on most store-bought granolas? Yikes, the sugar content! Homemade is far superior and gives you much more control, but I still always think it has more sugar than I usually want for breakfast. I tend to save it for sweet snacks or even a small (unglamorous) dessert.

Nori Granola

This granola changed my mind. It’s mostly savory! Call me sheltered but I’d never before tasted savory granola, and I was a little skeptical. The sugar content is… eh, fairly low, and there’s actual real nutrition from the nori sheets, plus sesame seeds and nuts. A touch of spice, and a really interesting, complex flavor that keeps you doing the whole “hmm, what is that?” routine with each bite.

Nori Granola

Nori Granola

Except… my PSA for the day – this is not cereal. Don’t pour milk over it. OMG, so gross!!

Nori sheets are pretty easy to find these days, but I had to order shichimi togarashi online. If you want to make it yourself, Chowhound has a good recipe. Give this a try, it’s such a unique twist on granola! Enjoy!

Nori Granola

Nori Granola

Source: Food & Wine Magazine, September 2015, recipe submitted by Heidi Swanson

¼ cup honey
¼ cup raw sugar
2 tbs water
3 ½ cups rolled oats, not instant
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nuts of your choice: walnuts, cashews, pecans, etc.
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tbs fennel seeds
1 tbs shichimi togarashi
½ tsp black pepper
5 (8-inch) nori sheets (or the equivalent, depending on what size nori sheets you find), torn and crumbled into 1-inch-or-so pieces
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 300 F.
In a small saucepan, combine the honey, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and bubbles appear at the edge, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, toss the oats with the nuts, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, shichimi togarashi, black pepper, and nori. Add the honey mixture and salt. Stir to coat the oats, then stir in the olive oil.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Spread the granola in an even layer, getting as close to the edges as possible. Bake about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally (especially at the edges), until the granola is golden brown. Let cool completely before serving – the granola will crisp as it cools.

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Almond Flax Seed Granola Bars

Almond Flax Seed Granola Bars

When Chinua Achebe penned his classic “Things Fall Apart”, I think he was really writing about homemade granola bars, and my college freshman lit class just didn’t read far enough between the lines to catch the real message. I now feel certain he was describing those annoying crummies that stick to your clothes and litter your floor, and the moral of the story was likely Eat Them Over the Sink.

making granola bars

Okay, maybe not. But I really do think that the messy, crumbly nature of homemade granola bars is why there is even a market niche for store-bought granola bars. Those factory-made, bland, over-sugared and over-salted barely edible packages seem to come in one of two categories: chewy, cloying bars that leave you wondering if one bite gave you three cavities, or hard, brick-like bars that leave you wondering if one bite chipped any teeth. Either way, you’re left thinking about the dentist. The taste of homemade granola bars is so ridiculously superior to anything you can buy at the store; yet, they fall apart. Which is a pain in the butt.

homemade granola bars

I haven’t single-handedly solved the problem. These granola bars do not single-handedly solve the problem. But they are not nearly as crumbly as others I’ve made, and they are so unbelievably scrumptious that I found myself not so bothered by the minimal mess. Aside from the wonderful flavor and texture, remembering the health benefits also lessened the blow of the crumbs. Most store-bought granola bars are loaded with ungodly amounts of high-fructose corn syrup and sodium; not these. You control the amounts, and you get to add flax seeds, which are high in anti-oxidants. You can read labels and choose the ingredients yourself, and since you are cutting the granola into bars, you control the portion size. I rest my case!

almond flax seed granola bars

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to look into homemade granola bars, as they can be a wonderful, tasty, healthy breakfast or snack. Just get some extra napkins and you’re good to go!

Almond Flax Seed Granola Bars

{One year ago: Classic Buttermilk Biscuits}

Source: adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila

1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter
¾ cup peanut butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups slivered almonds
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¾ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground to a powder in a mini food-processor, or ½ cup oat bran
¼ cup flax seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt, such as fleur de sel

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking pan very well. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey, and 2 tbs water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until you have a uniform syrup. Remove from the heat. Add the oats, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips, powdered oats or oat bran, flax seeds, and cinnamon. Stir until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and press it as firmly into the pan as possible, first using your hands and then using a spatula to flatten the top. Sprinkle the salt over the top.
Bake until the edges darken, 35 to 40 minutes. The mixture will be soft when you remove it from the oven; allow to cool completely before cutting into it. Cut into squares or bars as you see fit. I cut mine into 16 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator.