Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Strawberry-Apple Granola Cooked on the Traeger

Strawberry Apple Granola cooked on the Traeger
I have been trying to pull my family away from store-bought cereals by making and freezing pancakes (2 recipes will be posted soon!)  However, cereal is the breakfast of choice in my home.

During the winter months, I like to make homemade granola.  However, as we only have a window air conditioner, I generally avoid using our oven during the summer - unless it's a nice, cool, rainy day.

While cooking our meatballs for the June Daring Cooks' Challenge, I wondered if the Traeger would work to bake my granola.  The answer is YES!

I found my favorite granola recipe at quite some time ago.  It is listed as "Granola-4 Recipe" and was submitted by Tammy Kimbler.  Click HERE for the original recipe.  Ordinarily, I make it using pure maple syrup as the sugar and dried figs as the fruit.

This time, I wanted to make granola without the ginger.  So, I changed things up a bit.

Strawberry-Apple Granola

6 cups rolled oats (I buy them organinc in the bulk-food section for about $1.49/lb.)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup (Costco usually has great prices.)
3 egg whites
1/4 - 1/2 cup sliced almonds - optional
1/2 cup freeze-dried apples, chopped
1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, chopped

1. If using an oven, preheat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  If using a Traeger (I used Cherry pellets), open lid and set on smoke for about 5 minutes.  Then close the lid and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Combine oats and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix well.
Oats and cinnamon.
 3. In a smaller bowl, lightly whip egg whites.  Stir in maple syrup and vanilla.  Then, add to oats and cinnamon and mix well.
Oats, cinnamon, maple syrup, egg whites, and vanilla.

Dry and wet ingredients combined.
4.  Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Arrange oat mixture in a single layer.

5. Place cookie sheet in Traeger.  (Or in oven.)
Granola going onto the Traeger.  See the smoke from the cherry pellets?!
6. Cook for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.  (I like my granola crunchier, so mine cooked about 40 minutes.  However, I always check it 30 minutes in to make sure it is not too dark.)

7. If you want to add almonds, they taste best toasted.  (Like how I decided that for you?!)  Place sliced almonds in a single layer in an oven-safe dish.  Place on Traeger for 5-7 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.  Watch closely, so they do not burn.  (Or broil in oven, still watching closely so they do not burn - they will probably brown faster.)
Slivered almonds before and after toasting.
8. When cooked to your liking, remove granola from the grill and turn the Traeger off.

9. Allow granola to cool completely.  (I set the pan on a wire rack and clean up as it cools.)

10. Stir in apples, strawberries and almonds (if using).
Recipe used about 1/3 of the bag of strawberries and the full bag of apples.
11. Store in an airtight container.  (As you can see, I folded the long edges of my aluminum foil in toward the center, rolled one short end closed, and used the open end to funnel the granola into the jar.)
Easy-pour lining!

Strawberry Apple Granola cooked on the Traeger
 12. Enjoy!

We love our granola with almond milk or coconut milk for breakfast.  How do you like yours?

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