Granola Protein Power

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I apologize for not posting last Tuesday. When WordPress updated to the newest version, I experienced some technical difficulties and had to figure out what was going on. It took me a while so I decided to experiment and develop some recipes for future posts. I’ve been craving comfort food hard core so I got into the kitchen and worked.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to increase my protein intake lately and decided I needed a little help. I wanted to give protein powder a try and experiment baking with it. I quickly zeroed in on granola. It already has protein from nuts and I like to eat it with milk or greek yogurt, which also packs a lot of protein per serving. Combined with the running and yoga I’ve been doing, I’m finely building back some of my lost muscle mass.

Almond butter, cashews, walnuts, and pecans + protein powder all pack this granola with lots of protein power.
Almond butter, cashews, walnuts, and pecans + protein powder all pack this granola with lots of protein power.

Besides providing you with some protein and fiber, this granola is crazy good. The first batch I made was a complete experiment so I didn’t take any pictures. It disappeared in less than a week. I made it again right after so I could take pictures of it and it disappeared just as quickly. There were also suggestions that we needed to maintain a weekly supply.

I’m also breaking down how to make nut butters in a Vitamix for this post. I use homemade almond butter in this recipe for a couple of reasons. One, it tastes way better than store bought. Two, almond butter is very expensive. It comes in very small jars for as much as $13. So here we go.

Almond Butter

When I remember to make time for it, I soak nuts in water for 8 hours to remove the enzyme inhibitors that coat them, which prevents them from sprouting and makes nuts more difficult to digest. Once they’ve soaked and been rinsed it is very important to let them dry completely before trying to make nut butters. I put them in a dehydrator on low heat over night. The following pictures are actually peanuts for peanut butter but I use these steps for making all nut butters so…deal with it.

Soaking nuts for 8 hours in water helps break down the enzyme inhibitors that coat nuts.
Soaking nuts for 8 hours in water helps break down the enzyme inhibitors that coat them.
Make sure the nuts are completely dry before you begin to make nut butters. I use a dehydrator set on low heat for 8-10 hours.
Make sure the nuts are completely dry before you begin to make nut butters. I use a dehydrator set on low heat for 8-10 hours.

Once they are completely dry, I roast the nuts in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit with whatever seasonings I want. For the almond butter in this recipe, I mixed almonds, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coarse sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together and roasted them for about 20 minutes until the almonds began to brown.

Un-roasted seasoned peanuts.
Un-roasted seasoned peanuts.
seasoned peanuts after roasting
Seasoned peanuts after roasting.

Let the roasted nuts cool completely. Place a handful of the nuts into the Vitamix. You should be able to see the blades.

Place a handful of nuts in the Vitamix, making sure you can see the tops of the blades.
Place a handful of nuts in the Vitamix, making sure you can see the tops of the blades.

Pulse on 3 or 4 until the nuts reach a crumb-like consistency. Pour into a bowl and place another handful into the Vitamix. Repeat until done.

Roasted nuts blended to crumb-like consistency.
Roasted nuts blended to crumb-like consistency.

Pour the crumbled nuts back in the blender and make sure you have the augur near by. Put the lid on and slowly increase to 10 and then flip the switch to high. Use the augur if necessary and continue until the nut butter has reached the desired consistency. Don’t keep the machine running for longer then a minute. You shouldn’t have to worry though because it will be done before that.

finished nut butter
All done!

granolaproteinpower_7

Granola Protein Power

Granola Protein Power
Granola Protein Power

Really once the almond butter is made, you just combine the dry ingredients (rolled oats, protein powder, nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, coarse sea salt, cinnamon, and ginger), the wet ingredients (almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and egg white), and then mix them together. I get in there with my hands to make sure the wet mixture really gets incorporated into the dry (and I definitely lick my fingers after).

Granola Protein Power
Granola Protein Power

Spread the granola on baking sheets covered in parchment paper or non-stick baking mats and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring once in-between. When you stir be careful not to break up the granola too much. The egg white, as a protein, helps clump the granola together but not if you are over enthusiastic with the stirring. When the granola is evenly browned and dry to the touch it is finished, but you do have to let it cool completely before storing.

Granola Protein Power
Granola Protein Power
Granola Protein Power
Granola Protein Power

I probably like just snacking on it alone the best but it goes great with milk or greek yogurt too.

Enjoy!
Enjoy!

Granola Protein Power

Servings 8 cups
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

Almond Butter

  • 2.5 cups almonds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Granola

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 scoop whey chocolate flavored ( I used MRM 100% All Natural Whey, Dutch Chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup halved walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon heaping coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

Almond butter

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  • Mix 2.5 cups almonds with maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Mix the almonds again and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the almonds begin to brown.
  • Let the roasted almonds cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Place a handful of roasted almonds in a Vitamix (you should be able to see the blades) and pulse on 3 or 4 until they reach a crumb consistency. Pour into a bowl and repeat until all the almonds are done.
  • Pour the crumbled almonds into the blender.
  • Put the lid on and slowly increase the speed to 10 and then to high. Use the auger if necessary and continue until the almond butter has reached the desired consistency.

Granola

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  • Chop the nuts into smaller bite-sized pieces if desired.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients together.
  • Whisk the almond butter, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup together until smooth.
  • Whisk in the vanilla extract and egg white and then pour over the dry mixture, tossing to coat mixture evenly.
  • Pour in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  • When it is evenly browned and dry to the touch, transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Author: Megan Wells

 

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