Spiced Maple Pecan Granola

I’m back! It feels so nice to return to posting after several weeks of “hiatus” and a few days of remodeling the site. Although I’ve stayed up-to-date on social media, I know I’ve been completely neglecting my blog, and that makes me sad. Especially since I keep excitedly hashtagging “#ontheblog soon” on Instagram, and then not actually following through. Isn’t that abysmal? Maybe you’ll forgive me, since preparing for graduate auditions, practicing for my senior recital, and attempting to play violin in general have taken up all of my time over the past few months. Which is weird, since I still can’t play violin. I’ll keep trying though, and maybe one day I’ll understand how this thing I’ve been doing for 17 years actually works. Maybe. I did start a practice journal, which for the past…. three days (haha) has proven itself to be pretty efficient so far. Planning out my weekly/daily practice goals and logging my progress has already helped me to approach my music from a fresh angle. Yesterday didn’t go as well, but I kind of sealed my fate when I attempted to practice solo rep after playing orchestra music for five hours. (Stupid…)

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In other news, I just applied to graduate, which is strange, since I SWEAR I just got to college. Before I know it, I’ll have to be making mundane adult decisions, like whether “eggshell” or “tropical sand” is a better paint color for the cardboard box I’m living in master bedroom. I’m not quite there yet, so over winter break when I wasn’t obsessing over the future, practicing, or resisting the allure of Netflix, I was developing recipes like crazy. Some of the recipes were amazing, and some were… not. I made this granola for family and friends as a holiday gift, so I had several rounds of baking to perfect it. It didn’t really take many tries, since the first round was pretty great, but needless to say, this recipe has joined the ranks as “amazing,” and I will definitely be making my own granola from now on! I always like to make my own foods whenever possible and avoid store bought products, since it’s healthier (and often times, cheaper) to be in control of what goes into your food.

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This recipe contains all “real” ingredients, and can be modified to fit your dietary needs/wishes. You can customize granola easily, and I admittedly had a little help from Buzzfeed when I made the first batch. Their article really helped give me a good idea about proportions, but I was able to tweak a couple things here and there until the final product was perfectly crisp, crunchy, nutty, sweet, and crackly. I hope you enjoy this granola as I much as I do (I literally had some in a cup of Chobani while typing this… I can’t stay away)!

Spiced Maple Pecan Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rolled (NOT quick-cooking) oats
  2. 1-1½ cups pecans, roughly chopped
  3. 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  4. 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. cardamon
  6. 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  7. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  8. 1/4 unrefined coconut oil, melted
  9. 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
  10. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  11. Unsweetened dried cranberries (optional after baking)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, chopped pecans, unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, and egg whites, and then stir into the oat mixture.
  4. Melt your coconut oil, and then add it to the oat mixture after maple/vanilla/egg (this helps to avoid the coconut oil solidifying in the cold egg/the egg cooking in the hot coconut oil).
  5. Once all of your ingredients are together, pour them into a tray that's lined with parchment paper. Using clean hands or a spatula, spread and flatten the mixture.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the mixture becomes golden brown at the edges and you start salivating from granola fumes. At that point, I like to break my granola up into little chunks with a spatula, mix, and return it to the oven to continue toasting for a bit, maybe 5-10 minutes, until all of the little bits are golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven, and mix in dried cranberries if desired.
The Hungry Musician http://thehungrymusician.com/
 

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