I was in a bulk food store with my jars in tow and a plan to get some staples like brown rice and spices. I spied dried mulberries on sale out of the corner of my eye and just started thinking about a golden brown tahini granola with mulberries, cacao nibs, and orange. Sweet, sour, wine-y and toasty with a bit of sparkle. I filled one of my one quart jars up. That’s the rather boring genesis of this recipe, but the results are pure magic, especially in a bowl with some homemade nut milk.
I want to add something about those jars too. I shared that I had brought my own containers to the bulk store on Instagram stories the other day and had SO MANY questions about how that process works. Everyone messaging me seemed very excited about the prospect of a waste-free bulk shopping trip, which in turn got me super excited too. I buy so many things in bulk and the amount of little crappy plastic bags I was using seemed so counterintuitive. I hit up a pretty popular bulk food chain in my neighbourhood, and they are very cool about minimal waste efforts.
How it works: the first thing you do when you walk in is go right to the cash-out area and ask the cashier to weigh your containers. At my particular store, they wrote the weight on the bottom of each jar with a wax pencil. I had 3 1-quart jars with the exact same lid and they all came in at different weights, so this step is key! Once you have your weighed containers, you shop/fill up everything. Once you’re ready to checkout, the cashier subtracts the recorded weight. Super easy and no need to be intimidated. Also, don’t forget your cloth tote bags for bringing everything home ;)
We are taking those little steps towards minimizing single use items this year. I never put my produce in bags at the grocery store, but kind of had to the other day when I bought loose brussels sprouts, so some of these bags might be my next purchase. I also used to be the world’s most avid and enthusiastic user of parchment paper, but am trying to give my Silpat more of a workout these days. While they do sell biodegradable versions of parchment and often times you can get multiple uses out of one sheet, I honestly find using the Silpat easier! Might need to pick up one more for multiple trays of roasted veg though. Slow and little steps!
Tahini Granola with Orange, Cacao & Mulberries
- 4 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free oats, if necessary)
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
- zest of 1 medium-sized orange
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup large flake coconut
- ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
- ½ cup dried mulberries
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- If you don’t like tahini, I would recommend any of the following butters to replace it: raw cashew, hazelnut, walnut or pumpkin seed. If you want to use almond butter, I’d take the orange zest out of the equation.
- This granola will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
- I love this granola with coconut milk-based yogurt. The flavour combination just sparkles.
- Tahini brands vary in flavour and quality, which is important to note for this recipe especially. My favourites are by Soom and Shirley Bar Living.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place the oats on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast the oats for 10 minutes. Once you remove the oats, lower the oven’s heat to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt. Once you have a gloppy and homogenous mixture, stir in the toasted oats, coconut, and sesame seeds to coat.
- Spread the coated oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, ensuring the most even layer possible. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until granola is deep golden brown, about 32-35 minutes. Stir and flip the granola every 10 minutes or so.
- Once you’ve removed the tahini granola from the oven, stir in the mulberries and cacao nibs while it is still warm. Allow the tahini granola to cool completely before storing in a sealed container.