1-21-10--This post is linked to Healthy Green Kitchen’s breakfast recipe blog carnival for Haiti.
I AM what I eat. I love nuts and I am pretty nuts! If I had to pick a favorite nut, I'd actually have a hard time choosing. I really can't think of a nut I don't like. Pecans are WAY up there on the top of the list, along with walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, filberts, macadamia, see, I told you, I like them all! ;) But seriously, pecans might be my favorite. I really can't choose. I'd have to say it's a toss up between pecans, walnuts and almonds. Anyway---
A wonderful thing happened to me. I was contacted by The Green Valley Pecan Company and asked if I'd like some of their pecans. Hello? YES! ;) They kindly sent me a bag that was gone all too quickly! I thought and thought about what I should make to showcase pecans and many decadent, gooey, chocolaty, crunchy, yummy things came to my mind. Sigh. Decisions, decisions.
As I kept snacking little by little on the pecans (Sam LOVES pecans and all nuts, too--thank goodness there's no nut allergies in our family, I don't know what I'd do!), but as I tasted one here and there and shared them with Sam, I decided to just do one of the most simple things that I LOVE with them and I made granola. I could eat granola all day, every day--if I could. ; ) And I love nothing more than when I bite in to a nut in my granola. Besides chocolate, I'm not sure if I like anything better.
So I whipped up this EASY granola that I've come to love. It's a recipe from Camilla Saulsbury at Enlightened Cooking. Her simple granola is made on the stove top and has no added fat or oil. You can change it up with all kinds of ingredients, which I have done, so after reading my blog entry here, GO check out hers on the link with her name.
My Version of Camilla's Stove Top Granola, adapted from Camilla Saulsbury by Katrina
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup nugget like grain cereal (like Grape Nuts)
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1 cup pecans, slightly chopped and lightly toasted (you can do this in the microwave on a microwave safe plate for about 1-2 minutes)
2/3 cup agave nectar, minus 2 tablespoons (Camilla uses 2/3 cup brown sugar, I've also made this with about half honey and half agave and I've done mostly brown sugar with some honey, use what you like!)
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup apple juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large skillet on the stove at medium, bring the apple juice, agave and honey to a boil. Add the oats, cereal, flax and pecans and stir it with a wooden spoon so everything is well mixed and coated with the juice/agave mixture. Keep stirring and moving it around the pan for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla and stir together. You can then let it sit out until cooled, but I actually stuck it in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes. This is NOT necessary, but I like really crunchy granola! Without using the oven, the granola is still great, but more chewy.
I had some granola for breakfast and later for a snack, some vanilla yogurt with blueberries and more granola. De-lish! Love the pecans! Check out The Pecan Store Blog and get your fix of all things pecans! Well, maybe not quite all things, since you won't be able to taste them unless you make something yummy with them! Thanks for the pecans, Green Valley!
I had enough pecans left to make some yummy cookies, so I made some Mrs. Field's applesauce oatmeal cookies that I got the recipe for from The Secret Recipe Blog by Ron Douglas.
I only made some slight changes to the recipe by using just a pinch or two of cloves instead of the 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe. I also used 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans, instead of the 1 cup raisins in the recipe. Gotta have the that nutty crunch!
These cookies taste great! They have some applesauce as well as chopped apple (which I perfectly chopped uniformly with my Chop Wizard!) One thing I really liked in these cookies was the lemon zest and honey and of course the pecans I added!