This homemade ‘granola blend’ features my Nonna’s nutmeg flavored candied walnuts; as well as dried apples, almonds, apricots and cranberries. A bicycle basket made for a perfect gift display. We added gourmet salt water taffy (huckleberry flavor) for the Sea Otter Classic opening. To balance out the sweetness I threw in a bag of jalapeno popcorn and spicy peanut brittle. Carousel Candies on Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf not only hosts our wild huckleberry boutique, they also hand-make amazing culinary confections.
Monterey Bay is the perfect environment for long healthy bike rides. Fill a thermos with fresh strawberry lemonade and take a container of homemade granola. In Book One of the Huckleberry Hill Adventure Series, The Wild Buck, the strawberry lemonade is a favorite beverage for book characters Molly and Fern!
Nearly 75,000 bicycle fans call the Monterey Peninsula home for the Sea Otter Classic, a world famous festival!
At Huckleberry Hill, we developed a ‘Sea Otter Classic’ version of this deliciously addictive granola blend (inspired by my Nonna’s candied walnuts).
Personally, I have a long history and love of bikes! As a child, my sister and I stayed out until dusk most evenings riding around Del Monte Forest.
I recall that when my Nonna Frances made these walnuts, she would package a handful and I would stash them in my bike basket. With my tasseled handlebars and basket of filled treats, I canvased the neighborhood for hours, taking in the flora and fauna of the evergreen forest.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” –Albert Einstein
While visiting the Sea Otter Classic festival, I was inspired by the variety of bicycle baskets, wallets and bags for sale, perfect for packing a picnic. The Green Guru had amazing bags and gear, I especially liked the picnic bag with the cutting board, perfect for family picnics. These products are ‘feel good’ hand made in the USA from bike tubes and recycled materials. Austin designs and sews powering his sewing machine with a bicycle, that is so cool!
Anyway, I hope this granola makes way into your family picnic basket. This homemade blend is really simple to make and smells so good! Once you have made ‘from scratch’ granola, and realize how easy the process is, I promise you will never go for store bought versions. This will be your go-to granola recipe.
Feel free to change out the nuts, dried fruits for what you have on hand or to suit your taste. Beyond that, feel free to share your favorite granola recipe with me, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on the bike path! Huckleberry Hugs, Maxine (A.K.A. “Molly”)
- 3 c. old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 c. sliced almonds
- 4 c. walnuts (set aside- you will candy these nuts separately then mix in.)
- 1 TBSP. flax seeds
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt (I use a high quality Sicilian Sea Salt; this gives a depth of flavor.)
- 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 c. good quality maple syrup or organic local honey (use what you have on hand)
- 1/3 c. melted butter
- 2 tbsp. hot water
- 2 tsp. good quality vanilla extract (I happen to have wonderful vanilla that I just purchased from Mexico.)
- 1/3 c. dried cranberries (hold, mix this in after baking)
- 1/3 diced dried apricots (hold, mix this in after baking)
- 1/3 c. dried apples with skin on (for added fiber and crunch) (hold, mix this in after baking)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine dry ingredients and spices except the walnuts, apricots and cranberries.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup (or honey), melted butter, hot water, and vanilla extract.
- Spread across the parchment lined baking sheet into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stir/shake every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven add the dried cranberries, dried apple pieces and diced dried apricots over top. At this point make the walnuts, you will add this to your granola!
Use the walnuts that are set aside! Want to make this granola a real treat? I mix a handful of these gourmet nuts into my granola for an over the top blend!
-Nonna’s Candied Walnuts Recipe-
These are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and perfect for gift giving or parties. ENJOY!
- 4 C. raw walnuts
- 2 organic egg whites
- 1/3 C. granulated sugar
- 1/3 C. packed brown sugar
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 TBS ground nutmeg
- Generous pinch of sea salt (use a high quality for taste balance)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually spoon in sugar, beating until well combined. Fold in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Add walnuts nuts and coat evenly with mixture. Spread in a layer on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Check several times while baking to break up any large clusters. Remove from oven wile warm sprinkle and press one third of this nut mixture onto your granola, similar to how you added the dried apple/cranberries/apricots. The remaining walnuts can be stored for snacking, topping salads or gift giving in an airtight container!
-About the Sea Otter Classic-
(Click on the video get me back on my feet! Must have had too much fun at the festival, this is a wonderful family event and we hope to see you at the amazing SEA OTTER CLASSIC.)
Regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” hosts nearly 9,600 professional and amateur athletes and 72,500 fans. The 28th Annual Subaru Sea Otter Classic takes place April 19-22, 2018 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California.
For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.com or call (800) 218-8411.
Want to look and feel terrific for your family outings? My husband Eric had my boots (and his) re-soled at a mobile shoe repair, Vibram Sole Factory. It is so cost effective and best of all you do not need to ‘break in’ new shoes! Check out their across America ‘sole tour’ schedule!
My Mr. Aloha husband, known for wearing shorts EVERYDAY, is picky about clothes. He really liked what Club Ride has to offer, very California casual and high quality apparel.