Winter Granola

Photo courtesy of Closet Cooking.  That’s right, this isn’t actually my granola.
Next time I make it, I’ll snap a pic and add it.

Inspired by a post about granola by my favorite food blogger, Chocolate and Zucchini, I decided to make some of my own this afternoon. I wanted to do a pumpkin pie spice granola, but I realized that my spice shelf is sadly lacking – no ginger, no cloves, and a lot of other key spices missing. What I do have are some odd things – Chinese star anise, Spanish sweet paprika, saffron, and lavender flowers.

Anyway, the closest I came was cinnamon and cardamom. I added these to some rolled oats. I found a bag of Trader Joe’s candied pecans in my cupboard, and I chopped those up and tossed them in, too. Finally, in went agave nectar and a bit of canola oil. All it takes is mixing it all up and throwing in the oven for a half hour or so. I was going to add some chocolate chips after it came out of the oven and had cooled, but then I decided I should probably try to make the granola at least reasonably healthy. 🙂

It all turned out tasting so good, and the spices make me think of winter. Thus, I give you:

Winter Granola

3 cups rolled oats
half a package Trader Joe’s candied pecans, coarsely chopped (or about a cup of chopped regular pecans)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
6 tablespoons agave nectar (maple syrup would probably be good, too)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then stir the oil and agave nectar in using a fork. Spread the granola over a large, lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is lightly toasted – it won’t be crispy yet, but sitting out to cool will make it crisp up. The stirring every 10 minutes part is very important! You don’t want burned granola.

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