My new favorite granola is Nature's Path Love Crunch Carrot Cake granola. It is ridiculously delicious and I have to keep myself from eating all the super-satisfying granola chunks in one sitting. (I mean, we are all agreed that the chunks are the best part of granola, right?) One downside is that a pouch of it is fairly expensive, so I only ever buy it when it is on sale.
So, to ensure that I always have some carrot cake granola on hand, I decided my best option would be to try to make a batch of my own. This granola features classic carrot cake flavors -- cinnamon, pecans, raisins, pineapple, and of course, grated carrots. The one thing my recipe is missing is yogurt chips to give it a little cream-cheese flavor; I wasn't able to source any in my small town -- but if you can find them where you live, I'd recommend tossing in a handful after the granola has cooled.
Carrot Cake Granola
makes about 12-15 servings
1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup filtered water
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dash ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
1/3 cup walnut oil [or use a neutral oil such as canola]
2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pot, combine together the brown sugar and filtered water. While stirring constantly, cook over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, add together the oats, sliced almonds, pecans, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and sea salt.
4. Stir the walnut oil and vanilla extract into the cooled brown sugar mixture. Then pour the sugar mixture over the oat mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients together. Stir in the grated carrot.
5. Spread the granola evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and stir/flip the granola over to ensure even browning.
7. Bake for an additional 60 minutes, or until the granola is dry.
8. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the raisins and pineapple. Allow the granola to cool completely. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to three weeks.