My Best Crunchy Clustery Granola

I've made a lot of Granola in my kitchen.

This is my best by far.


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FOR A FEW REASONS: 

It's the perfect balance of mostly crunchy with a tiny bit of chewy.

It's clustery. I'm not a fan of small grainy granola. Get outta here. Gimme the large clusters that fill my whole cheek! I'm gonna tell you the secret ingredient to get those clusters every time! Just keep on reading boo. 

It's refined sugar free! Sweetened only by a little honey, dried dark cherries. (which aren't even that high in sugar!) & authentic Mayan vanilla extract. I bartered for this vanilla while in Cozumel, Mexico on my latest vacation. It's dreamy. 

It's oat free. I feel like the majority of store bought or restaurant granola is like 89% oats. No thanks. They're tasteless. Gimme the rich fatty macadamia nuts, bomb coconut strips, & crunchy bits of chia and flax.


Okaayyyyyy.

Now we're speaking my granola language. 

When I make this, I plan to make it a meal while I'm assembling and when it's all done. It's SO freakin good, I can't resist - so I basically eat a full meal's worth of it during the whole process. Mmmmm.



So there's a few steps you CANNOT skip when making this granola. I know you're excited, (I am too!) but take the extra few minutes.

I promise promise promise it'll be worth it hunnies. 


No Skip Step #1: Use a food processor to chop the nuts. Or coffee grinder. You can't just chop them with a knife. Becaaaaaaause....the processor creates amazing tiny AND large pieces. Which then stick together better to create the clusters. Trust. 

No Skip Step #2: You MUST let the granola cool completely before stirring or breaking it up. If you take it out of the oven and stir it up right away, you won't get the clusters. It'll be like the average ol' Nature Valley granola. Yawn. 

No Skip Step #3: Use egg whites. This is the secret ingredient to create the clusters. It's the granola glue! 



One more thing before I give you all the goods...

I use different nuts/seeds every time I make this. In different combos. Like this time, I used Macadamia nuts for the first time & loved it! 

And if you see pecans in the ingredient list & you hate pecans then sub with pistachios...or more almonds....or Brazil nuts! Like pumpkin seeds better than sunflower? Cool cool, do you. Use those. 

Just keep the total amount of nuts/seeds about the same as what I do. It keeps the ratios of dry to wet on point. 


OK, I hear you....

My "Best Clustery Granola" coming upppppp!


Makes 12 cups // Cook time: 30-35 min // Total time: ~60 min

INGREDIENTS:

(all nuts/seeds are raw & unsalted)

  • 2 cups almonds (I soak mine overnight then roast in the oven. But I'm Extraaaaa.)
  • 1 cup walnuts 
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup cashes
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened coconut flakes - I like the BIG flakes.
  • 4 Tbsp Ancient Grains mix from Trader Joe's (You can also just use  2 Tbsp each of chia and flax seeds)
  • 1 cup dried dark cherries (you can also use cranberries, prunes, etc...)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp Maca root powder
  • 3 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen 
  • 1.5 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 4 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
  • 1.5 vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 & line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Working in batches, roughly chop the nuts/seeds in the food processor. There should be all sizes from grain of sand to almost the whole nut. Don't be uniform! Pulse the cherries or dried fruit a few times as well. 
  3. Combine all nuts seeds/dried fruit/coconut in a large mixing bowl and add all other dry ingredients. (Collagen, spices, Ancient Grains, salt) Stir well to combine. 
  4. In a separate mixing bowl add the water to the egg whites and whisk until bubbly and frothy. Just a minute or so. Then add melted coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stirrrrrr. 
  5. Pour the wet mix over the dry ingredients and stir VERY well. Make sure everything is coated. No nut or seed left behind!
  6. Spread the granola mixture evenly over the parchment paper lined baking sheets, and bake for about 30ish minutes. The edges should be starting to brown, but don't overdo it! Nobody likes burnt granola. 
  7. After 10 minutes, give it a quick stir, but then flatten it back down. You kinda want everything touching to make it stick together in the oven.  
  8. When you take it out of the oven, you will be tempted to break some off and eat it. DON'T! You must let it cool completely. I slide the parchment paper off and let it chill on the countertop - it goes faster. 
  9. Once it's finally cooled, NOW you can use a spatula or your hands to break it up into pieces. And the clusters should be formed nicely! 
  10. Store in airtight container and share with those you love!

Cheers & Love,

Mimi


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