Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almond Chai Granola

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I have a few obsessions. One, as I've already told you, is sweet potatoes.
Another obsession I have reveals itself in the form of a game called who-what-when-where-why. Maybe not obsession. More like the current nightly ritual, the observance of which is not to be neglected save for in the case of life-or-death situations.
Every night after I scrub down the counters and start the dishwasher, I turn to find Piggie and Tay sitting at the kitchen table, pens in hand and scraps of paper before them, with imploring looks on their faces. So I sit down with them and we all take a scrap of paper and write down along the edge "who", "what", "where", "when", and "why". We each write the name of a boy and a girl beside "who", i.e. Tay and Piggie. Then we fold it over so that the names are hidden and pass it clockwise to the next person who will write the "what", i.e. drank chai tea. Then we fold it over again and pass it to the next person who writes the "where", i.e. in Dumbledore's secret candy pantry. Then "when", i.e. on Groundhog Day, followed by "why", i.e. because Yammie had ordered them to. Then we pass it along one more time and that person will read it all together out loud, "Tay and Piggie drank chai tea in Dumbledore's secret candy pantry on Groundhog Day because Yammie had ordered them to". That wasn't the funniest example, but it brings me to the final obsession I am going to divulge to you tonight: Chai tea.
I have always liked tea. I like how it's so fresh and reviving. But somehow, it always seems boring.
One day I finally tried chai tea. If you aren't familiar with chai tea, it's pretty much tea made with milk, sugar, and Indian spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, etc. It's so wonderful and I don't know what I did before it became a part of my life. Now, as far as the cardamom goes, I am a little reluctant to use it because of a bad experience I had with it once. One day, back in seventh grade, we all had to make a food to represent a specific country for school. Nemo got Afghanistan, so she decided to make cardamom cookies. Sadly, these cookies turned out to contain more cardamom than any other ingredient. They pretty much tasted like handfuls of sand. So that's why I usually just use cinnamon and nutmeg.
Oh, one more obsession: granola. This is a staple at The Noshery. We eat it for breakfast every day. We add it to yogurt, eat it like cereal with milk, or take a handful plain for a snack. There are endless possibilities for flavors, from pumpkin to peanut butter to....

Almond Chai Granola

1/2 Cup honey
1/4 Cup olive oil
2 green tea bags
3 Cups oats
2 Cups almonds (I used half roughly chopped and half slivered)
1 Cup coconut
1/4 Cup +2 T sugar
1 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
3/4 t nutmeg
2 t vanilla

  1. Combine the oil and honey in a microwaveable cup and microwave for about two minutes or just until boiling. Let the tea bags seep while you make the rest. 
  2. Toss everything else in a big bowl.
  3. Remove the tea bags from the honey mixture and add the honey mixture to the oat mixture. 
  4. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and pour the granola onto the sheet. 
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 250ยบ, stirring every 15 minutes.

    Almond chai granola with dried cranberries and yogurt



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