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I have to bring all of the snacks on the airplane. All of them. What if I get hungry and I’m stuck on a plane for 8 more hours and they’re out everything but that candy sampler box with gummy bears?! It’s something to have nightmares about.
My tendency to pack lots of food has earned me some strange looks at security on multiple occasions. I tend to get stopped for the personalized treatment at security and customs. I think it’s because I meet the profile for ‘people we have to stop to prove we’re not profiling.’ Short blond gringa? She’s not doing anything wrong – let’s stop her! Or maybe they suspect me of trying to start a cash only illicit snack bar in the sky. I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve been asked “this is all for you?” several times by various security employees while they rummaged through my snacks.
Ever since I made my own grain-free granola the other week, I’ve been meaning to do it again. Life’s been busy, though, and I kept putting it off, Finally, I decided I had to make the time to create more granola because I wanted to add it to my bag of snacks for my trip to the East Coast. The chocolate coconut granola was great, but I decided to make a chai spice version this time, instead. It’s just as tasty and smells even better in the oven!
I’ve learned something nifty while making these grain-free granolas – if you scoop the coconut oil out with a measuring spoon and then squeeze the honey into the same measuring spoon without wiping it down, the honey will slide right out instead of sticking to the spoon! Pretty cool, huh?I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Almonds are hard nuts, but walnuts and pecans are pretty soft. That’s why the recipe says to put the almonds in the food processor and pulse them a few times before you add the other guys. I wanted to mix things up a bit so I left the sunflower and pumpkin seeds out this time, but they go great in the granola, too. To use four different nuts/seeds, just decrease the quantity of each to 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 cup.
Make sure to use a nice, heavy rimmed baking sheet when you pop the granola in the oven. A cheap, flimsy one may warp and spill some of your delicious granola. No bueno.
I was honestly pretty surprised once I went to package my granola up for storage after the ‘photo shoot.’ That’s all?! I thought. I may or may not have been grazing on it while taking photos.
The way the recipe is written produces granola that is delightfully warm tasting, but not overpowering. If you’re one of those people who really likes spicy things, consider punching up the amount of ginger and black pepper.
Just don’t get super crazy with the cloves your you’ll numb your mouth and won’t taste anything else! Also, too much cinnamon can get bitter, so don’t go overboard there, either.
It’s easy to enjoy this nutty granola by the handful, on ‘traditional’ cereal, in a bowl by itself, on top of yogurt, etc., etc. I bet it would even make a totally delicious ice cream sundae topping! The thought is enough to make me strongly consider breaking out the ice cream attachment for my mixer…
What’s your favorite way to enjoy granola?