Monday, July 11, 2011
Nut Munch: Breakfast cereal sub, ice cream topping, or just good ol' snack!
Breakfast cereal used to be literally one of my favorite things on to eat. I would eat for breakfast, snacks during the day, and before bed. I was, can you say, addicted!? In order to satisfy that craving I found a few commercial products (the best being Steve's Original Paleo Crunch, that stuff is awesome), but most were out of our price range with a new baby. So, I decided to make some of my own. It might not taste as good as the commercial brands, but it's not bad and has been a big hit around here. We've even wrapped it up as gifts for some of the members of CrossFit Gwinnett. Here's how you do it:
(Adjust all "measurements" for amount you'd like to make.)
Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Toss a handful of almonds into a food processor with a healthy heaping of cinnamon. Grind into a meal, not a flour. Having some halved or quartered pieces is just fine. Dump that meal into a mixing bowl. Now do the same thing with walnuts (and you could also do it with pecans). Now you have a mixture of almond and walnut and cinnamon meal; dump about 2-3 cups of almonds and walnuts respectively (using more of the nut you prefer and possible adding some other nuts like macadamia, if you prefer) into the mixing bowl with the meal. Now mix. Squeeze or pour about 1 cup of honey (plus/minus this as you prefer: more will make it sweeter, but higher glycemic, less will make it less clumpy and clustery, both ways are fine. We've also used molasses, agave, and/or maple syrup - all work well, but we only had fresh local honey on hand yesterday). Mix the honey and nut-nut meal mix together until the meal starts gripping to the whole nuts. You should not have a lot of leftover meal in the bottom of the mixing bowl - that would mean you used to little honey. If you would like to help balance the macronutrient ratio add a scoop or a few scoops of your favorite protein powder. Egg, Whey, and Casein all work well. Chocolate flavored is a particular favorite around here, but vanilla works well too. We've never tried any other flavors. Once you feel that you have a well-mixed batch pour out onto un-greased cookie sheet(s). Try to flatten the mixture out on the cookie sheet as much as possible. Now bake at 300ºF for 1 hour (+/-; you have to taste as you go). Stir/flip about every 15 minutes.
During the last half hour of cooking you could add some dried fruits (raisin, cranberries, blueberries work well) and during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking you could add some dried/dessicated coconut. Don't add the coconut too early or it will burn making the whole batch taste burnt. You could also just stir this into the final batch.
Once your batch is baked remove from cookie sheets and refrigerate. It's not essential that you refrigerate, but I like it refrigerated and it will last longer. Enjoy this little delicacy with some nice coconut, almond, or raw cow's milk poured over it. Put a few pieces on top of a smoothie or ice cream sundae, or just pop a few bites as snacks. No, it's not low fat or particularly low on sugar, but it's big on taste and will probably satisfy your sweet tooth.