Somehow, I have four jars of cardamom in my pantry.
Cardamom is one of those amazing spices that is really infrequently used. I have used mine in the past for one recipe only: Norwegian waffles, a Christmas morning tradition. (I have not blogged about them, but you can read more about them here). When I go to Indian restaurants, I frequently get the cardamom flavored rice pudding for dessert. The one thing I never thought of putting it in? GRANOLA! GENIUS! (Thank you to Rachel at Little Chef Big Appetite!)
I’m not sure if you have ever bought ground cardamom at the grocery store, but it isn’t very cheap. So, when I saw it at World Market when I lived in New Orleans for $2.99 (!!!!), I scooped up two jars. My mom just gave me another. And here I am, still working on the expensive one I bought years ago to make waffles once a year. What can I say, I can’t resist a bargain.
In case you are wondering, spices don’t go bad. They will, however, lose their potency/flavor over time, so if you have a particularly old spice, be generous with the portions you are using in any given recipe.
I think my four jars of cardamom will be used much more frequently now that I have discovered this granola recipe!
I love making granola at home for the following reasons:
- The house smells BEYOND amazing whilst it cooks
- It’s so much cheaper than buying it at the store (again, with the bargains!)
- As long as you have rolled oats, you can basically use whatever other pantry items you have to make it.
- You can control the sugars and fats that go into it to be healthier than store-bought, which often use refined sugar and oils (like canola)
Today, I used dried coconut flakes, sliced raw almonds, oats, and sesame seeds as the base, with cinnamon and cardamom for spice, and a mixture of honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to coat.
To make granola, simply mix together oats, raw unsalted nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruits in a large bowl. Add a little salt and spices- cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc.- to the bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together your sweeteners and oil/butter (you may have to do this on the stovetop or microwave to melt it), and stir into the larger bowl to coat the granola.
For natural sweeteners, you can use vanilla extract, honey, and/or maple syrup. For good fats, try butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. 100 days of real food has a great granola recipe made with butter.
Bake on a parchment covered baking sheet at 300 for about 20 minutes (or until lightly browned).
When taken out of the oven, it must cool down before being eaten. The reason for this is two-fold. One: it is insanely hot. Two: it needs to clump together and solidify by cooling down. It will be difficult, but don’t be tempted to nibble too early!
Enjoy on its own, with milk as a cereal, or on top of plain yogurt.
|Coconut, Cardamom, and Almond Granola|| |
- Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together oats, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, add honey and coconut oil. Microwave for 20 seconds, until honey is warmed. Stir until coconut oil melts (if solid to start), and add in vanilla extract. (alternatively, you can melt this on the stovetop).
- Add honey and coconut oil to oat mixture; stir to coat.
- Spread in a thin layer on baking sheet; bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes; add raisins if you want!