Carrot Cake Granola

One of my favorite snacks to eat is granola.
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It’s healthy and very portable to keep hunger at bay while running errands. The problem I find with some store bought granola is it can be filled with a lot of fat, preservatives and nasty chemicals.  I’ve recently ventured out to make my own granola and it’s a lot easier than I thought, plus I get to add whatever I like!

In Central PA we have a wonderful local company, Nuts About Granola which specializes in homemade granola and can be found at local markets or ordered online. My favorite is the Carrot Cake Granola, but unfortunately it’s a seasonal item.

I decided to take a leap of faith and try my hands at creating my own Carrot Cake Granola, and I must say it came out amazing. I found a simple granola recipe from Alton Brown which I used as a base.

Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees and in a large bowl combine 3c. of Old Fashioned Oats, 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar, 2 TBSP Cinnamon and 1/4 c. Chia Seeds- If you’ve never heard of Chia Seeds they are an amazing super food filled with nutrients. They are especially rich in essential Omega 3 oils, you can read more about them on HealthCentral.com

In a separate bowl, combine 1 c. grated carrots- yes, I’m using REAL carrots in the granola! it wouldn’t be “Carrot Cake Granola” without it! I chopped the carrots in a food processor to get a fine texture.- along with the carrots add 1/4 c. Canola Oil, 1/4 c. plus 2 TBSP. Real Maple Syrup, 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt.

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Mix the oats into the carrots and stir to combine. I *love* the orange specks throughout!

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Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins. – stir every 15 mins to get an even color, the granola will crisp when out of the oven. Remove from oven when brown, burnt granola will not be very tasty!

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I was trying to think of ways to get the Cream Cheese frosting taste and then it dawned on me! Yogurt covered raisins! raisins are common in traditional Carrot Cake and the mild sweet yogurt coating acts as the frosting. I love knowing everything I used in the recipe was wholesome and good for my family, now the hardest part will be  keeping my hands out of the bowl! Hope you enjoy!

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