The baking urge is strong with this one.
Especially when a few more inches of snow are piling up outside. All day snow flurries + arctic wind + all-day football = Mikaela baking. (I like a good football game here and there but an all-day marathon was not my first choice. But I am outnumbered by dear husband and brother-in-law recently. Hmph. See if he’s ever invited back.)
I’d been wanting to make this chai spiced granola for quite a while. Smoothie bowls just aren’t the same without crunchy granola on top, but gracious. It is very hard to find store-made granola that is free of refined sugar. (*30 day new year kick for those of you tuning in.) So I made this unrefined granola at home. Which I don’t mind, since that results in a lower-carb granola and a chai spiced kitchen that goes fabulously with the cold weather. Bring me a blankie, my book, my puppy, and I’m set.
Feel free to play with the spices here–everyone has a different opinion on how chai-y they want their granola. Or their lattes. David refuses to order my chai lattes, as they’ve gotten a little complex. Tall. Almond milk. Extra pump of chai. Light ice. And he won’t even entertain the idea of hitting the drive-thru if I want tea. Errr… that is… a grande, unsweetened, iced, green tea lemonade, light ice, light lemonade.
Does anyone else do this??? Please, tell me I’m not the only one. But dang nabbit, if I’m going to pay for an outrageously overpriced fancy-schmancy sized starbucks drink, than I’m going to order it exactly the way I want it. Yes? No? I should probably put a batch of cookies in for the poor, wonderful, completely patient and deserving baristas that I will assault with my entitled drink orders from now until I’m not an over-worked attorney. (Read: Never.)
Chai spiced granola!
I’m 90% certain that smoothie bowls were created as a vehicle for crunchy granola. Lately, I’ve switched to plain, non-fat greek yogurt with some frozen blueberries (always frozen) and this chai spiced granola for a mid-afternoon snack. On point, if I do say so myself. But then again, I’ve never ever met a granola I didn’t like. This chai spiced granola is also great as a morning cereal with milk. If it’s not as sweet as you like your cereal, just drizzle on some honey or agave.
Feel free to play with this recipe, since you can essentially swap in whatever nuts you like, whatever sweetener and/or flour your prefer, and add whatever your heart thinks it is missing!
Here are some ideas:
- Nuts: swap the pecans and/or almonds for walnuts, pistachios, or cashews
- Sweetener: honey, maple syrup, or agave will work!
- Flour: any kind will work! For . . . unrefined–whole wheat flour, gluten-free–almond flour, heart healthy–oat flour!
- Spice Swaps: try swapping the chai spice for pumpkin pie spice!
- Add-Ins: dried fruit (I like apricot), mini chocolate chips, banana chips, or chocolate covered fruit