Late night snacking has always been an issue for me. Unfortunately, cereal is my favorite evening indulgence, so I don’t keep it in the house anymore. I’m not sure what it is about a bowl filled with milk and crunchy-turning-mushy things, but it just feels so right at 9pm. The one exception to the rule is homemade granola. For whatever reason, I can keep it in the pantry without going on a rampage. Maybe because it’s heavier? I tend to make a one-bowl-and-done kind of granola; this stuff is filling, at least in my opinion.
I love the flavor and texture combination of dates, tahini, and pistachios. This isn’t the first time they’ve made an appearance together on my blog, and it won’t be the last. A hint of cardamom calls out from the background to add warmth, but you’ll barely know it’s there. You can double the amount for more of a spice kick. Ground cinnamon would also be lovely here. As with pretty much any granola recipe, you can add in whatever seeds and nuts you have. I almost threw in some chia seeds, but meh. There was enough going on, and I was kind of digging the (almost) monochromatic look.
- 3 cups pitted dates, divided
- ½ cup well-stirred tahini
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup roasted & salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- optional: ¼ cup raw flax seed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a kettle or small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Place 1 cup of the pitted dates in a small bowl, and top with just enough boiling water to cover. Soak for at least 5 minutes, until very soft. Chop the remaining dates and set aside.
- Drain the dates, reserving the soaking water, and place in a food processor. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, and puree until creamy. Transfer to a medium bowl and combine with the tahini, salt, and cardamom, stirring until smooth (Note: tahini consistencies vary. If the mixture seems too thick, you can add another 1-2 tablespoons of the date soaking liquid).
- In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, pistachios, and flax seed. Add the liquid mixture, and stir until the oats are wet and the mixture is thoroughly combines.
- Spread into a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the oats once or twice midway through. The granola should be dried out and fragrant.
- Allow to cool, then toss with the remaining dates. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.