Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pecan Pie Granola

Pecan pie is one of those love it / hate it foods. I personally can't stand it - I abhor pecans in general - but my mom? She adores those buttery, toasted morsels in the classic dessert. One thing we do agree on is that almost every storebought pie, and most recipes as well, are soooo cloyingly sweet you just want to go brush your teeth and take a shot of insulin afterwards. We're also both of the mind that if you're going to call something _________ pie, it should have more of the title ingredient and less "glue" - hence the pie I made her a few years back.

The main problem with pecan (or any) pies, though, is they aren't exactly breakfast food. Heck, they aren't even a weeknight dessert food - not with over 400 calories a slice! So when my mom (back on the so-called "wagon" after the holidays) was jonesing for her nut and (lightly) corn-syrupy fix while dutifully eating her Yoghurt Pudding, I was inspired to make something she could use to give her that nuance of the hot Summer days in Georgia with a few more nutritional perks.

The first thing I definitely wanted to incorporate was a hint of coconut flavour - while I know that coconut isn't traditional in pecan pie, I always associate the two for some reason. Dark brown sugar added a hit of molasses flavour to the relatively bland base, while a shot of bourbon brought us back to the South. I knew I couldn't do away with the syrupy flavour entirely, so I added the treacle-like golden syrup to my batch. Unlike regular corn syrup, the golden stuff had a more "homemade" taste to it, almost toasty in comparison, and it played extremely well with the nuts and grains. Speaking of the grains, I picked out a trifecta that maximized flavour and nutrition - the standard oats, wheat germ and quinoa flakes. 

Pecan Pie Granola

A stint in the oven brought everything together, and then it was judgement day. Mom took a spoonful right from the tray and declared it "tasty", but it was after she sprinkled it onto her yoghurt that she truly began to enjoy it. The jar disappeared quickly - and she's already eying the sale flyers at our bulk store for more pecans!

Pecan Pie Granola
Makes 8 cups, 32 (1/4-cup) servings
¼ cup melted coconut oil (something flavourful)
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup golden syrup (or dark corn syrup)
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp bourbon (or apple juice)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup wheat germ
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 325F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oils, golden syrup, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Add the oats, quinoa flakes, wheat germ and pecans, stirring gently to coat completely.
  4. Spread mixture evenly onto the baking sheet.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven and let cool inside for 1 hour.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 140.4
Total Fat: 8.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 40.0 mg
Total Carbs: 15.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.5 g