Pumpkin spice gets all of the love this time of year, (I succumb to the temptation as well, and will be posting a pumpkin spice recipe soon), but what about other aromatic autumnal spice combinations? Chai spice is basically pumpkin spice with the addition of cardamom and allspice; you’ve still got the sweet cinnamon, spicy ginger, and warm nutmeg & cloves, but the additional two spices give the blend a deeper, more exotic flavor profile.
The fragrant spice blend is used here to flavor crunchy granola clusters that are lightly sweetened and insanely addictive. You bake the granola at a low temperature in one giant “sheet”, and then break it up into clusters as big or as small as you’d like.
Oat flour helps to hold the clusters together. I love this brand, and keep it on hand for ease of use, but you can absolutely make your own simply by tossing a few big handfuls of old fashioned rolled oats into a high-speed blender or food processor and blending/processing until the oats break down into a fine flour.
Clusters, magnificent clusters!
You could certainly eat this clustery granola with milk for breakfast, but I personally think it’s better suited for snacking on throughout the day.
I helped myself to a few handfuls while taking photos for the post; even Lily couldn’t keep her hands away. In fact, when I asked her if she liked the granola, she said: “No. I LOVE it!”
Well said, kiddo, well said.
Crunchy Chai Spice Granola Clusters
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (such as safflower oil)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
both old-fashioned rolled oats and oat flour can be found in certified gluten-free versions
Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, oat flour, salt, and all of the spices.
In a medium bowl, combine vegetable oil, coconut (or brown) sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract; whisk until well-mixed. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir until dry mixture is fully and evenly moistened.
Spread mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Press down so the top is even. A pastry roller comes in handy here, as you want the mixture in as thin & even a layer as possible. The mixture should reach the edges of the baking sheet. The mixture will be sticky, so it can be helpful to lightly wet your fingers or a rubber spatula (if you don’t have a pastry roller) with water before pressing down.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until hard through the center and golden brown, rotating baking sheet about every 15 minutes for even baking.
Let cool completely, then break into pieces.