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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Pistachio Mint Granola (Vegan, GF, Fruit-Sweetened, Naturally Colored) (for St. Paddy's!)

Another granola recipe because I just can't get enough! And this one is a belated St. Patrick's Day recipe, since I've been SO busy the past few months finishing up college, writing my first few YA fantasy novels, getting my kitchen cottage license certified, taking 2 advanced cake decorating courses, and launching my cake business!! 😮‍💨 Yeah, a lot of good stuff happening here! Oh yeah and I forgot to also add to that list applying to blogging/freelance writing/graphic design jobs to pay the various bills :) But better late than never, laddies! I know this granola combo sounds very weird. Pistachio and mint don't sound like they should go together. But trust me when I say that they are an incredibly delicious combo (think almond + mint). The flavors don't muddy each other but rather exist alongside each other in all their wonderful peppermint and almond splendor. And it is a wicked good flavor duality. And don't be turned off by the green color either- it's just from green spirulina and is 100% natural. But don't listen to me, try this granola for yourself! It's so easy & quick to make, healthy, and delicious! Sláinte!



So... I've gotten into foraging recently! In the photos above, I can easily ID (identify) purple dead nettle (in the second photo, the column of jagged green-purple leaves with tiny purple-pink fairy flowers- they're delicious btw), violets (the larger & deeper purple flowers in the background of the first photo), and wood-sorrel (or clover) (the green trefoil/3-leaved plant). All of which are edible! This month (May) and next month are going to be AMAZING for foraging: berries, flowers, other fruits, you name it! Ofc I am highly sustainable and am especially careful about what I forage and consume. As forager Alexis Nikole Nelson says, "Happy snacking! Don't die!" lol. But really. I'm new to foraging (I'm a baby forager), but I'm learning as I go and am learning the safest and most sustainable way to do it in the process!


So back to this recipe: pistachio + mint is a GREAT flavor combination. And this granola is incredibly tasty! It's sweet, pistachio/almond-forward, with a pleasant, but not overpowering peppermint flavor. And it's full of wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients like sprouted rolled oats, raw pistachio butter, nuts + seeds, and green spirulina! It really is the perfect granola for St. Paddy's too: mint + pistachio butter (which is green) with a little spirulina for natural green color!




This granola is vegan, gluten-free, date-sweetened (w/ a maple-sweetened option), and is naturally colored. It only takes 15 minutes to bake, and is easy as can be! There are plenty of customization options for this granola too.


Which Dimpled Date granola flavor is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!


And if you're interested in seeing some of my recent cakes I made during my advanced cake decorating courses, check out the "Gallery" section of my website!! Lots of awesome stuff happening, and local sales will be launching soon.


But as an example of some of the cakes I've made recently, I offer the following:


A wedding cake-style Chocolate Hazelnut Baked Cake w/ white velour:


A St. Paddy's Cake!! Raw Triple Matcha Velour Cake (my own recipe):


Mini Raw Yin-and-Yang Velour Cakes for a local yoga business I sell at:


And more!! Stay tuned for more cake updates, and check the Gallery section of my website for even more cakes I've made :)



Substitutions


I wouldn't substitute any other kind of oats for the gluten-free rolled (old-fashioned) oats because quick oats, instant oats, and steel-cut oats all take different amounts of time to cook and have drastically different textures. If the oats don't need to be gluten-free, you can sub regular rolled oats. Possibly, you could omit the oats and instead use gluten-free/vegan/sugar-free crispy rice cereal. You want a good amount of texture and volume to replace the oats and something like a gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free (unsweetened) crispy rice cereal would do the trick I think without adding too many extra calories or fat. (***PLEASE NOTE: I HAVE NOT tried this recipe with crispy rice cereal in place of the oats and therefore CANNOT guarantee good results***). If you try this recipe with crispy rice cereal, let me know how it turned out in the comments!


The avocado oil can be replaced with melted coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, or your healthy vegetable oil of choice (you could even try olive oil, but note that it might add a more robust flavor to the granola). Alternatively, replace the oil with additional unsweetened applesauce. The unsweetened applesauce can be replaced with additional oil or possibly mashed banana (however: I'm not sure that the banana flavor will work with the mint + pistachio). The pistachio butter is key for this granola because it is Pistachio Mint Granola. And it's key that the pistachio butter is raw and unsalted. Roasted + salted pistachio butter is much more oily, borderline savory, and doesn't add the pleasant almondy sweetness that raw pistachio butter does. However, if you wish, you can replace the raw pistachio butter with raw almond butter, raw cashew butter, raw pumpkin seed/pepita butter, raw sunflower butter, softened coconut butter, OR your raw/unsalted nut/seed butter of choice (just try to pick a flavor that will go with the mint). If you want just regular green mint granola, use softened coconut butter instead of the pistachio butter, omit the pistachio nuts, omit the almond extract, and add extra peppermint oil/extract (be sure to still add the spirulina for a green color too!).


You can sweeten this granola with date paste OR 100% pure maple syrup. Alternatively, try 1/4 cup agave OR 1/4 cup yacon syrup OR 1/4 cup coconut nectar OR 1/4 cup honey (if not strictly vegan) per single batch instead of the maple syrup/date paste. You can also try 2 to 3 Tbsp date sugar (just dried & ground dates, NOT palm sugar), plus more to taste. OR you may use 1/4 cup coconut sugar OR scant 1/4 cup maple sugar. For 100% sugar-free, you can try using 100% pure liquid/powdered monk fruit to taste (the concentrated, pure form of monk fruit, NO erythritol or other sweeteners).


You can use any raw unsalted nuts/seeds, such as raw pistachios, raw almonds, raw walnuts, raw pecans, raw cashews, raw Brazil nuts, raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas, raw sunflower seeds, etc. The peppermint oil/flavor is essential because it's one of the main flavors in this granola. You can use peppermint (or mint) extract instead. However, if you don't want the mint flavor, simply omit it and add an extra 1/2 tsp almond extract per single batch. The almond extract is key for enhancing the pistachio flavor, but if you have pistachio extract that will work too. Or, you could add cherry extract to add a fruity/almondy flavor. Alternatively, you can use vanilla or you can omit the almond extract and just rely on the pistachio butter for the pistachio flavor.


The green spirulina is key if you want this granola to be a deeper green color. But you can try 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp matcha instead for a lighter green color without affecting the flavor (just note that this will add a tiny bit of tea caffeine). Or, try 1/8 tsp blue spirulina + 1/8 tsp ground turmeric, plus more of either as needed (adding more of each 1/8 tsp at a time) to achieve a green color (but note that too much turmeric will impart a turmeric flavor). Or you can use a little of your natural/vegan/GF/sugar-free green food coloring of choice to color this granola. If you don't necessarily want/need green granola, simply omit the colorant for a more natural hue. The unsweetened shredded coconut is an optional add-in, but you can add chia seeds, hempseed, flaxseeds, or sesame seeds instead. If you want, you can add a handful of unsweetened raisins OR your unsweetened dried fruit of choice. For spices, try adding a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom to add a little something interesting. Add any other desired add-ins, if you wish.



Future Recipes Sneak Peek!


It's time for 3 new recipes coming to The Dimpled Date soon! 3 new recipes perfected or in the works that are heading to the blog soon are:


  1. Healthy Kombucha Floats (yes, you read that right!)

  2. Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons

  3. Baklava Date Bombs


... AND MORE! Stay tuned for the culinary greatness! And foraging updates :) And cake sales updates!


Happy St. Paddy's (belated)!


Enjoy,

-K.



Pistachio Mint Granola (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Fruit-Sweetened, Natural) (St. Paddy's Granola)


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 3 cups granola (6 servings approx.)


Ingredients:


  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (AKA gluten-free old-fashioned oats), pref. sprouted


  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil OR melted extra virgin coconut oil


  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce (can sub additional oil)


  • 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pistachio butter* (homemade or store-bought // can sub raw almond butter, raw pumpkin seed/pepita butter, OR raw nut/seed butter of choice for a different flavor)


  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp date paste** OR 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup


  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted nuts/seeds of choice (I used raw almonds, walnuts, and cashews)


  • 2 Tbsp raw unsalted pistachios, shells removed (can sub additional nuts/seeds of choice)


  • 1/4 tsp peppermint oil/flavor, natural (can sub up to 1/2 tsp extract)


  • 1/2 tsp almond extract


  • 1 tsp green spirulina OR 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp matcha powder OR a little natural/vegan green food coloring of choice (optional, for a green color)


  • small handful unsweetened shredded/desiccated coconut (optional)


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a large silicone baking mat. Make the date paste (if using) and homemade pistachio butter (if using) ahead of time (directions below). Melt the coconut oil (if using) just until liquified. Shell and chop the nuts/seeds as needed.


2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (oats, nuts/seeds, pistachios, dry colorant, coconut) using a spoon or spatula until combined.


3. Add all the wet ingredients (oil, applesauce, pistachio butter, sweetener, extracts, liquid colorant) to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well until thoroughly incorporated and there are no chunks of nut butter/date paste and the color is fully incorporated. To make this step easier if you're using date paste and pistachio butter (and esp. if you use coconut oil), melt the coconut oil, date paste, and pistachio butter together in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring, until just liquified and smoother (the date paste won't incorporate fully and this is OK). Allow this mixture to cool slightly before pouring into the dry ingredients, adding the applesauce, extracts, and liquid colorant (if using), and mixing well.


4. Spread out the granola onto the lined baking sheet into a single even layer.


5. Bake the granola in the preheated oven (at 325 F) for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.


6. Allow to cool (the granola will form clusters and the flavors in the granola will develop further as it cools).


7. Serve with unsweetened coconut milk yogurt or dairy-free yogurt/kefir of choice and fresh fruit or serve with unsweetened plant milk. I bet you could even serve this granola with dairy-free cottage cheese if you'd like! Or, use in an avocado-pistachio parfait/fool or use as a topping on green matcha or mint chia pudding. Alternatively, use this granola to top a glass of Baileys Almande vegan Irish cream or use this granola as a topping for vegan/refined sugar free mint chocolate chip ice cream/nice cream or my Healthy Spumoni Ice Cream. This granola would also make a great topping for my Matcha Almond Cupcakes or for an Irish cream pie. Or enjoy this granola on its own. Sláinte! Happy St. Paddy's Day!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for less time.


NOTES:


*to make homemade pistachio butter: blend at least 1.5 cups raw unsalted pistachios (shelled) in a food processor or high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) into a smooth and shiny nut butter, stopping the machine, scraping down the sides, taking breaks, and re-blending as needed. Then measure out the amount required by this recipe. If the dry nuts aren't blending into a nut butter on their own, try adding a little avocado oil to help it to blend.


**to make homemade date paste: blend together 1 cup tightly packed dates (pitted) + 1/4 cup filtered water until a thick, smooth, sticky paste forms, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then measure out the amount required by this recipe.


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