Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Green Chile Gridiron Granola

Football season is upon us (Can I get a Hallelujah???) and if you know me, then you know that it is my favorite time of the year to cook.  We set up a pretty elaborate tailgate with lots of great friends.  Everyone has a task to do from setting up the tents, to bringing ice to bringing the tvs and power cords.  Thankfully my job is is to bring food, which isn't a job at all when you love to cook.  The only downside to all of the football and food related fun is watching the 'ol waistline.  It's hard to eat healthy with a spread of chili dogs, chips and beer staring you down every Saturday.  Inspired by the healthy snack page on Nuts.com , I decided to create a healthy, energizing snack for this tailgate season.  Often we will spend the entire day on campus outside the stadium and it's nice to have a high protein snack that gives a little energy boost to get through a long day of fun.  And it's always nice to have something that appeals to everyone from vegetarians to fitness enthusiasts.  And face it, when you're standing around with an ice cold beer, yelling for your team on the big screen, nothing is tastier than a handful of snack mix.  I used traditional snack mix with cereal and spices for my inspiration but changed up the spices and decided to use granola in lieu of the typical rice and corn cereals.  The crunchy twist was a huge hit.  After researching the health benefits of different types of nuts at on the healthy snack page at Nuts.com I settled on a mix of cashews, almonds and pecans.  Feel free to change things up with your favorite nuts.  Finally instead of relying on a large amount of brown sugar or maple syrup to sweeten the recipe I used a small amount of Agave syrup.  It added just the right amount of natural sweetness.  Mix up a batch this weekend and Go Team!
Our new favorite HEALTHY Snack Mix!
Start with a combination of your
favorite nuts.  I chose cashews
almonds and pecans.

Look at that lovely green chile powder.

All of the spices and
seasoning.  So much flavor!

Add the agave syrup for
a healthy sweetness.

Whisk together.  

Combine the nuts and granola in a large bowl.

Pour on the spice mixture and stir
well to coat.

This step definitely works best in an
Oklahoma Sooners bowl...

Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined
baking sheet and bake.

Let cool before snacking.

Pack it up to share at your tailgate party.

I invite you to visit the Nuts.com website for more
healthy snacking information, ideas, and delicious products.

Green Chile Gridiron Granola

1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup unsalted pecans
2 cups plain granola
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon green chile powder (See *NOTE)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Combine nuts and granola in a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk together melted butter with remaining ingredients.  Pour mixture over nuts and stir to coat.  Spread nuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake approximately 10-12 minutes  at 350 degrees F.  Watch carefully as granola will brown fast.  You may want to shake the pan or stir a couple of times during baking.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before snacking.

*NOTE:  Chile powder with an E is not the same ingredient as Chili powder with an I.  Chile powder is simple a dried chile ground into a powder.  Chili powder is used as an ingredient to make chili and contains other ingredients such as garlic powder and cumin.  Make sure the chile powders you use here are plain ground chiles.

This post was suggested by Nuts.com and their healthy snacking page.  The opinions are all my own

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