granola-crusted nuts with dried cherries
Have you ever had a moment when a recipe speaks to you? Well, that’s exactly what happened last week when I was perusing blogs and fell upon this recipe for granola-crusted nuts. I’m suppose to be eating every three hours, which seems like it should be more fun than it is. My stomach growls but I don’t know what to eat—when you’re eating that often, things get boring. I needed something to jazz up my boring routine, something that was fairly healthy, and above all, it had to be delicious. So yeah, I was pretty pumped when along came this remedy for my little predicament, in the form of bite-size granola nuggets that are a cinch to make.
Look at all that healthy stuff! How could they not be tasty? I made a few adjustments to the original recipe, adding a little more salt, because Early Bird Granola has totally changed the way I think about granola with it’s salty goodness (check out my take on their granola). I also added some dried cherries to bring a burst of juicy flavor to contrast all the dried bits. They’ve already fit the bill—a handful mid-afternoon was just the snack I needed. And I expect as I head into a crazy weekend of vending at Renegade Holiday Market (come by and say hi!) and then traveling for Thanksgiving, these are going be just the fix I need—if they last that long.
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
As I noted above, I added a little more salt and dried cherries to the recipe. I also used pistachios instead of pepitas, because that’s what I had on hand. Deb from Smitten Kitchen suggests that any nut can be used but those bumpy, craggy ones, like walnuts or pecans will manage to stow more granola coating. These are as excellent with breakfast as they would be for a travel snack or gift.
|3/4 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned will work; instant might get a little dusty)
1/4 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons pistachios, or another nut or seed of your choice
1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar (for low-to-moderate sweetness)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups (approximately 1/2 pound) walnuts, pecans or nuts that you prefer
1/2 cup dried cherries, or another dried fruit
|Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.1. In a food processor, pulse oats, coconut, pistachios, sugar, cinnamon and salt in short bursts until the mixture is very well chopped but not powdery — it needn’t be like a flour.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg white and water until frothy (but not stiff).
3. Add nuts to bowl and coat them very well, using a few more stirs than will seem necessary because if the egg doesn’t get into the craters of the nuts, no granola will stick there.
4. Pour oat mixture into bowl and very gently fold it together with the nuts, so that it just barely sticks. (I found that if you stirred it a lot, the mixture just started falling off, so just a few folds will do.) You’ll have more granola coating than will seem necessary, but this is fine. Spread nuts-and-granola out on baking sheet in a single layer but no need to separate them. Sprinkle any granola mix leftover in the bowl over the nuts.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, moving nuts around just once in the baking time so that the inner nuts get as toasty as the ones at the edge.
6. Transfer pan to cooling rack, add the dried cherries and let nuts cool completely there. Once full cool, break up any nut clusters and place mixture in jars/bags/your hand.