Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

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Lauren Zembron
Lauren Zembronhttps://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/
I am a 34 year old living outside of Boston with my wonderful husband, energetic daughter, sweet son, and playful dog. I have degrees in both psychology and guidance counseling, and have worked in a variety of school settings. I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“. I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle.
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Pumpkin spice gets all of the love this time of year, (I succumb to the temptation as well, and will be posting a pumpkin spice recipe soon), but what about other aromatic autumnal spice combinations? Chai spice is basically pumpkin spice with the addition of cardamom and allspice; you’ve still got the sweet cinnamon, spicy ginger, and warm nutmeg & cloves, but the additional two spices give the blend a deeper, more exotic flavor profile.

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

The fragrant spice blend is used here to flavor crunchy granola clusters that are lightly sweetened and insanely addictive. You bake the granola at a low temperature in one giant “sheet”, and then break it up into clusters as big or as small as you’d like.

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

Oat flour helps to hold the clusters together. I love this brand, and keep it on hand for ease of use, but you can absolutely make your own simply by tossing a few big handfuls of old fashioned rolled oats into a high-speed blender or food processor and blending/processing until the oats break down into a fine flour.

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

Clusters, magnificent clusters!

You could certainly eat this clustery granola with milk for breakfast, but I personally think it’s better suited for snacking on throughout the day.

I helped myself to a few handfuls while taking photos for the post; even Lily couldn’t keep her hands away. In fact, when I asked her if she liked the granola, she said: “No. I LOVE it!”

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

Well said, kiddo, well said.

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters

by Lauren Zembron (method of baking adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (such as safflower oil)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

both old-fashioned rolled oats and oat flour can be found in certified gluten-free versions

Instructions

Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, oat flour, salt, and all of the spices.

In a medium bowl, combine vegetable oil, coconut (or brown) sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract; whisk until well-mixed. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir until dry mixture is fully and evenly moistened.

Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Press down so the top is even. A pastry roller comes in handy here, as you want the mixture in as thin & even a layer as possible. The mixture should reach the edges of the baking sheet. The mixture will be sticky, so it can be helpful to lightly wet your fingers or a rubber spatula (if you don’t have a pastry roller) with water before pressing down.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until hard through the center and golden brown, rotating baking sheet about every 15 minutes for even baking.

Let cool completely, then break into pieces.

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