Yes, I’ve been going crazy for carrots lately — carrot Lara bars, carrot pancakes, some carrot muffins and a big moist carrot cake slathered with cream cheese frosting. I can say that my dad’s 5 pound bag of carrots was a blessing in disguise, as it left us with a ton of carrot flavored treats.
I always feel ripped off buying granola at the store. Its so expensive, and I can’t help thinking “I could have made this even tastier at home for much cheaper” with every spoonful I eat. Plus, who knows what really goes into the store-bought varieties? (even those super-pricey organic ones). Personally, I find the aroma that fills my kitchen when a batch of granola is toasting in the oven incentive enough to make it at home. (check out my tropical hawaiian granola here)
This granola captures the essence of carrot cake perfectly — full of rich toasty coconut flakes, big buttery pecan pieces, and chewy, sweet raisins . In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if my neighbors thought I had a big ol’ carrot cake baking in the oven. It looks like regular old granola, but its a mouthful of crunchy carrot cake in every bite! Some mornings I wake up and think “Man, all I want today is a big bowl of cake for breakfast” — I’m sure some of you can sympathize. When I pour some cold milk on a big bowl of this granola, the clusters soften ever-so-slightly and the milk resembles cream cheese frosting. Full of rich coconut flakes, big buttery pecan pieces.
So yes, I am proud to say I am a borderline hippie who loves to make her own granola.
Do you have any funky granola flavor ideas for me to try? I am up for a challenge!
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup honey puff cereal
- 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
- 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger root, grated
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup (a little less than) agave nectar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup dried coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- Place two oven racks on the top and bottom 1/3 of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Set aside two baking sheets with sides lined with a silpat liner, parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, combine both oats, honey puffs, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger.
- In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, honey, brown sugar, agave, canola oil, vanilla extract and carrots.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Pour the granola on the baking sheets, splitting evenly between the two baking sheets.
- With a silicone spatula (or any other flat tool), push down the granola to make a compact, flat and even layer of granola.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes (one on the top, one on the bottom).
- While that is in the oven, chop your nuts and combine them in a bowl and set aside.
- With a large spatula flip over the granola, cut the larger clumps in half and add the nuts and coconut to the baking sheet.
- Bake for another 20 minutes stir around and break up any clumps that wouldn’t fit in one bite.
- Bake for a final 20-30 minutes, until completely dry and golden brown.
- Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Once cool, add in the raisins
- Store in airtight containers and enjoy!