I’d like to start off this post with a shout out to Kankakee Natural Foods. This is and has been my favorite store in the area since I discovered its existence about a year ago. Best unsweetened dehydrated banana chips this side of the Rockies. Well maybe. I don’t really know what the deal is with banana chips over there in California. Probably pretty substantial, though. Maybe if I go over there someday I’ll find out.
Anyway, so I’m standing at the checkout counter with my granola-making purchases when I suddenly acquired a taste for dried blueberries. I asked the girl behind the counter if they ever dried their own blueberries. She said they didn’t, but they did get in packages of them. She walked over and grabbed them off the shelf to show me. It saddened me that they were teensy bags.
Damn blueberries for being so tiny and delicious and not being grown in my area – therefore expensive!! I thanked her for showing me and proceeded to the door as she returned the blueberries to their shelf.
Then the clouds parted! She waved me down and walked toward me carrying several shiny, beautiful bags of dried blueberries. It turns out that they were a few months past their shelf date and they weren’t allowed to have them on the shelf anymore. She said they were mine if I wanted them and all I’d have to do is just throw them out if they weren’t any good.
I thanked her profusely, practically jumped up and down like a child going to Disney World! Free dried blueberries! Woo-hoo!!
I rushed home to make my granola!
This recipe is inspired by a recipe for Maple Pumpkin Granola I ran across on Sugar Plum. I already have a favorite granola recipe, but it’s not exactly the most figure friendly one. It has lots of peanut butter, butter, honey and chocolate… I have to save it for special occasions.
So here’s my granola recipe. And if by some chance there’s some ingredient you find appalling, just swap it out with something you like! This mixture seems to be pretty delicious completely unbaked or even partially baked. Filling and delicious in any form!
Sweet Potato Granola
1 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup rye berries
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened banana chips
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/8 cup flax seed
1/4 cup All Bran cereal
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cooked
3 dried figs
1 tablespoon tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (substitute Earth Balance or more oil to make it vegan)
1 teaspoon mango extract
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with canola oil and set aside. In a bowl mix oats, rye berries, pumpkin seeds, banana chips, blueberries, flax seed, cereal and peanuts. In a food processor, puree sweet potato, figs, tahini, olive oil, butter, extract, water and salt. Combine oats mixture and sweet potato mixture. Spread onto the cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring the ingredients up halfway through.