Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Magical Granola Dust

I think that every parent walks the line between feeding their kids healthy food and feeding their kids food that they don't have to fight with them over. With my kids being more active lately, they need more energy, and they always seem to be "staaaaaaarving". So, when I can find recipes that they enjoy that are easy and nutritious, I feel like I've hit the jackpot.

Granola dust is one of those recipes. I came across the idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and adapted it to better suit my kids' tastes. It's packed full of nutritional powerhouses like oats, nuts, seeds, and antioxidants, and I tried to keep the sugar down while still making it sweet enough that my kids don't feel tempted to add their own. 

First, take 4 cups of oats, a cup of nuts, and a half cup of seeds and throw them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until they smell fantastic and are slightly toasted. Let them cool slightly.

After the mix has cooled down, throw them into a food processor and add a cup of dried fruit, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (the real stuff, NOT hot cocoa mix), 1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee, 1 tablespoon malted milk powder, a tablespoon or two of maple sugar, and the zest from an orange.

All of these leave a lot of room for flexibility. You can use whatever nuts you like or have on hand. I went with almonds, local pecans, and pistachios this time. Same goes for the seeds. I had sunflower seeds and black and white sesame seeds, but you could also throw in pumpkin seeds (no shells!) or flaxseed or whatever you want. And the same thing with the dried fruit. Today I went with raisins and dried blueberries, but you could also use dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates...any way you would like! The taste will take on different tones, but all of those have some great nutrition going on.

It's a tight squeeze, but get the lid on the food processor and give it a whirl until it literally turns to dust. That's it. Boom, done.

Store it in glass jars or another container with a tight seal.

There are plenty of ways that you can use this magical dust. You could sprinkle it over yogurt, top it with fruit, or blend it into a smoothie. You could also add milk or water and heat it up like a porridge. Our favorite way is to just throw it in a bowl with some milk and call it a day. Quick and painless. It tastes great, and I love that my kids are getting such a powerhouse load of goodness in each bite. We use it as a snack or a breakfast, and, I'll be honest with you, sometimes when I'm feeling super lazy, I'll just pour a bowl for a lunch on my own. 

Magical Granola Dust

4 cups oats
1 cup nuts of choice
1/2 cup seeds of choice
1 cup dried fruits of choice
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon finely ground coffee
1 Tablespoon malted milk powder
1-2 Tablespoons maple sugar (or other natural sugar)
Orange zest

Bake the oats, nuts, and seeds on a baking sheet at 350 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly toasted, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

Place oat mixture in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Process until mixture is dust.

Store in sealed container.

Serve over yogurt, topped, with fruit, in smoothies, on buttered toast, mixed with milk, hot or cold...have fun with it!

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