The grocery store near my apartment is ingeniously designed. The queue for the cash register snakes through a long aisle of shelves stacked high with every kind of granola and health bar imaginable. There are enough chia seeds to fuel an Aztec army, temptingly combined with endless permutations and combinations of dried fruits and roasted whole grains. As you wait for the customers ahead of you to finish packing organic produce into eco-friendly cloth bags, you can browse this assortment to your heart’s content. I invariably exit the store with several pounds of unplanned granola purchases weighing down my arms, my conscience, and… my wallet. $11 for a bag of granola! This happened, more frequently than I really care to admit. But now I’m calling it quits, because I’ve become the proud producer of my own artisanal blend – with more to come for sure.
Granola is incredibly easy to make on your own, and infinitely customizable. I went for a savory-spicy blend here, with minimal sugar – what binds the ingredients into lovely crunchy clumps is not honey, but egg white! Roasted edamame, oats, cashews, dried apricots, and various seeds are given a dusting of dark smoky paprika and flaky sea salt; with the help of heart-healthy olive oil, maple syrup, the magical egg white, and a long toast in the oven, they become an insanely addicting snack. The fragrance alone over the course of the hour-long roast time was nearly enough to convert me to an oats-only regime (Equine Diet, anyone?).
This combo works well alone – I snacked on stray, unphotogenic pieces shamelessly as I was shooting this post. But it’s even better piled atop a swirl of tart Greek yogurt. Paprika and sea salt flavoring in your breakfast yogurt bowls might sound a little bizarre, but trust me – you won’t turn back once you’ve tried it. My former favorite topping combo of sweet honey granola, blueberries, and raisins seems corny and cute next to the deep smoky breakfast bowls I’ve been devouring. Watch out, Kind!
Smoky Edamame Granola Recipe (makes 10-12 servings)
Note: It takes a good amount of time for everything to fully dehydrate, especially if you are using unthawed frozen edamame beans. In my opinion, this granola is best fresh from the oven but the clumps will form larger pieces if you wait until fully cooled before breaking them up. Finally, if you store them in an airtight container they'll get less crispy but they'll stay fresh for another two weeks or so. I don't think they'll last that long.
1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup edamame beans, thawed
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (unroasted)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (unroasted)
1/2 cup cashews (unroasted)
1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
1 egg white
2.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1.5 tsp paprika
1 tsp coarse salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl, then spread flat on a baking sheet. Roast for ~1 hour, or until everything is nice and crunchy and a little bit brown. The edamame might shrivel up a little. Check every 10 minutes at the 40 min mark to make sure nothing burns.
Let the granola fully cool (or eat it right away if you're impatient like me). Break into large clumps and serve alone, or with yogurt.