Creative Granola Spice Ideas
I am working on mastering a granola recipe and I'm running short on ideas for good spice blends. I want to do something beyond the usual vanilla and cinnamon, but nothing too extreme since I will use the recipe for my blog (no spices that the average cook couldn't find).
Suggestions for which type of sweetener would be best, too. Honey, maple, agave, brown sugar, etc.
In as much that your granola is likely to have Oats for the "base" of the recipe, I am thinking along the lines of "what grows together, goes together":
- Plain White Table sugar is always an option, though somewhat boring
- Honey (always a good choice for everything)
- Maple (very New England)
- Golden Syrup (Think Scotland, the land of Oats)
- Some Molasses, though I would recommend against Blackstrap Molasses
- If using Coconut in the granola, you may want to consider Palm Sugar (i.e. Coconut Sugar)
- Cinnamon (which you already mentioned)
- Nutmeg, or Mace
- Cocoa Powder
- a little Juniper, just in the background
Various Nuts, obviously:
- Almond, Walnut, etc.
Various Dried Fruits, obviously:
- All the usual suspects, plus Currants, Gooseberries, Sultanas and Blackberries
Some other flavors:
- reduced Whiskey or Applejack (maybe even Port)
Of course, do not use all of these things at once, but, hopefully there are a few ideas here.
One last note, please soak your Oats overnight in water with a little Whey, or Buttermilk or even Lemon juice, to help reduce the Phytic Acid. To get the Oats back to the right (dried) consistency, simply spread them on a baking sheet (with or without parchment) and put them in a very low oven (say, less than 120-130 °F) for a few hours.
I'm not actually allowed to post the address here, I've been told not to by moderators :) Oops. It's listed under my profile. Or just type my chowhound name honestlygoodfood inbetween www. and .com hahaha.
God bless penzeys spices. Every time I go I spend an hour in there just sniffing stuff. They have the best smoked paprika. Maybe good in a savory granola.
if you like ginger, try using molasses reduced with guiness stout as your sweetener, along with some powdered ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and some crystallized ginger
i'm also a big fan of the combination of espresso and cinnamon
also, vanilla and malt powder (or barley malt syrup) make an interesting combo with any number of other mix-ins.