January 15, 2014

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola with Whole Grain Mornings

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola | The Naptime Chef

Yesterday I interviewed my dear friend Megan Gordon about her new book, Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons (Ten Speed Press, 2014). It was so much fun to hear how the book developed and about the progress of her company, Marge Granola. Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes from her new book as well as a little glimpse of my favorite things about the volume. Don’t forget I am giving away a copy of the book, just click here to enter!

The thing I love about this book is the unique topic and assortment of recipes. Megan deftly writes recipes for both sweet and savory breakfast dishes that fit neatly into each season. They do require you purchase some grains you might not have in your pantry, but I love a book that pushes me out of my comfort zone and offers up healthy and interesting alternatives to my go-to breakfast dishes. This spring I definitely plan to make Strawberry Oat Breakfast Crisp the second the first berries hit the stands. I also want to give the Cheesy Chive Millet Grits a try, the idea of a savory grit dish on a cold spring morning sounds heavenly.

As someone who is not too familiar with cooking with whole grains and natural sweeteners I love that Megan includes a lengthy introduction about cooking with whole grains. Reading it is a like a little food course title Whole Grains 101. Without it the dishes like Dried Coconut and Toasted Coconut Muesli and Fresh Fig Parfaits with Popped Amaranth might sound intimidating until you realize it really isn’t that hard. While this isn’t a book of quick whole-grain recipes for busy mothers (which I hope she’ll write after she has kids someday), the recipes are easily achievable with the right ingredients and a little time on hand.

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola | The Naptime Chef

Today I am sharing my personal favorite recipe. I certainly haven’t made all of the ones in the book, but I already know this one will be an all-star in my kitchen for years to come. The whole family love it. The genius part about this recipe is the natural sweetness from the maple syrup and flavoring from the vanilla extract and spices. I don’t usually cook with coconut oil but I think that accounts for the crispy golden toasting of the oats and seeds. They achieve the perfect caramel-like flavor as they bake and smell heavenly as they cool. The hazelnuts, coconut, and cocoa nibs are all stirred in during or after cooking so they don’t get burned or overly toasted.

This book is definitely one for the bookshelves for years to come. If you are looking for a fresh look at healthy whole-grain breakfasts this is definitely for you. I’ll also say, the Savory Barley with Mushrooms and Parmesan, Smoked Salmon Creme Fraiche Tart with Cornmeal Millet Crust, and Fried Halloumi Bites all look like they’d be fantastic for lunch or dinner!

More friends writing about Megan’s book with recipes:

Molly at Orangette: Megan’s The Very Best Oatmeal

Heidi Swanson made Megan’s California Barley Bowl with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

USA Today shared the amazing Whole-Grain Gingerbread

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 to 7 cups

Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups / 300 g rolled oats
  • 1⁄2 cup / 60 g raw sesame seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup / 50 g raw walnuts, 
coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup / 120 ml maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup / 120 ml coconut oil, melted 3⁄4 cup / 35 g unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1⁄2 cup / 60 g raw hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup / 25 g cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper 
or a silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and 
cardamom.
  3. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut oil and stir to combine. I use my hands at this point so that all of the wet and dry ingredients are evenly mixed together. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir in the coconut and hazelnuts. Return to the oven and bake until the granola is fragrant and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through to ensure that it bakes evenly. Let cool completely. If the granola doesn’t seem as toasty as you’d like, much like cookies when they come out of the oven, it will firm up considerably as it cools. Stir in the cacao nibs. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to
6 weeks. The granola also freezes beautifully for up to 3 months.

Notes

Morning Notes: I don’t bother to skin the hazelnuts for this recipe. For the most part, the skins blend with all the different textures of the granola, and I’ve never noticed them enough to bother with it.

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