I started running about 3 years ago because it was a cheap way to exercise. There were no gym memberships and very little equipment involved. Now, I do it because I enjoy it, and I have decided to start training for my 2nd half marathon. You would think that running and desserts go hand in hand. The more you run, the more sweets you can eat, right? Well, not so much, at least not for me. When I run, sugar is my enemy. I cannot eat cookies and cupcakes and run 8 miles the next morning. Part of why I continue to run is because it forces me to be thoughtful about what I eat.
However, I don’t like to deprive myself of treats. This recipe is healthy, but it tastes like dessert! When I make granola in the summertime, I don’t like to taint it with dried fruit, especially when there is good fresh fruit available. This granola is my favorite combination of nuts and oats with just the right amount of sweetness. The macadamia oil also adds a sweet and nutty flavor, although you could easily substitute vegetable oil. And if you’re one of those people who likes raisins (ick!), I suppose you could add those too.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I’m running does not mean that I won’t be baking up a storm. There will be no lack of sweet treats coming out of my kitchen, but I may eat less and share more. And who knows, maybe there will be more days like today, when I use my oven for good rather then evil.
Nutty Summer Granola
adapted from Alton Brown
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup macadamia nut or walnut oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
2. Combine the oats, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
3. Combine the maple syrup, macadamia nut oil, and salt in a small bowl. Combine both mixtures together and spread into 2 sheet pans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until golden brown.
4. Cool completely and serve with fruit and yogurt.