What could be better than crunchy sweet and healthy homemade granola?
Homemade granola that you don’t have to watch every minute to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Granola that stirs like a dream instead of spilling off of the cookie sheet while you’re trying not to burn your arms on the oven rack. That’s what, yea!!
I had to fancy this super easy granola up a bit too by adding in some spicy candied molasses nuts with the mix. My husband and I both agreed that these candied nuts, boiled up with molasses instead of plain maple syrup were much tastier and far better for your health as well. Blackstrap molasses is chock full of B6, Potassium, Folic Acid and best of all IRON!!
Find out all the fun facts on Blackstrap Unsulfered Molasses HERE>
As for these spicy candied nuts, use any mix you’d like to make them your own. And please don’t think you have to just use them in granola. We barely left any for the recipe once I smelled up the whole house while they bubbled away on the stove top. Salads, ice cream, and just plain by the handful, you’ll love the flavors and the great nutrition these little crispy clusters give you.
As for the granola, I’ve made different versions at home in the oven a few times before. This recipe in the slow cooker is by far the easiest and tastiest. Just mix all your goodies together in a bowl, line your crock pot with some parchment paper and pour it all in. Be sure to vent the lid with a utensil of some sort to let out the moisture as it cooks (this also allows the smells of the fruits and molasses to fill the house, so beware of nibblers)
I got so hungry while this was cooking up, I spooned up a small bowl full around hour 3 and had it with some vanilla Sunflower milk The milk warmed as I stirred up my hot granola bowl and made a rich dark sauce for the crunchy oats and fruit. Really good.
Change the fruits and nuts to make this one your own but don’t change that molasses. It’s the star of this quick healthy snack.
- 2 cups spicy molasses nuts *see recipe pictured above
- 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup diced dates
- 3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
- 3/4 cup walnut oil + 1/2 cup black strap molasses + 1/2 cup maple syrup
- In a medium non-stick fry pan, heat nuts and maple syrup/molasses mixture to a simmer and add in 2 cups of mixed nuts ( I used pecans and peanuts). Stir constantly for about 10 minutes until a thicker syrup begins to coat each nut. When all liquid has been cooked off and a syrupy coating is on the nuts, remove from heat to let cool. Break nut candies into smaller pieces and cool completely.
- For the granola, mix together all the dry ingredients except for the candied nuts in a large mixing bowl. Combine oil, molasses and maple syrup and then pour over your mixed dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine and coat completely. The oats and fruit should be saturated with the wet. Add in additional oil if needed and the Spicy Molasses nuts also with the mix.
- Oil the sides of a large slow cooker ( I used a 7 quart) Line the bottom of the cooker with parchment paper and heat on high. Pour the granola into the slow cooker and spread along the bottom. The granola will be about 2-3 inches thick. Place lid on cooker and vent slightly to reduce moisture (I used a chop stick under the lid to create a 1/4 inch gap) Heat on high for 3 - 4 hours stirring occasionally. The granola will crispen after cooling. Carefully pour your cooked granola out onto a large sheet pan and spread out to one layer thick. Cool and store in a sealed container. Serve with nut milks or eat plain. Makes a great ice cream topping as well.
- You may want to reduce the heat to low for the 3rd or 4th hour just to keep the molasses from getting too hot. Stir the pot at least once per hour to spread the heat around.
Snowing again here today…arrrrggggg! Spring, where are you?
- ‘Breakfast In Bed-Fest’ entry #1 from Becky Striepe @ glueandglitter.com “Mom and Baby Breakfast: Peach-Ginger Green Smoothie”
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