The Edible Hypothesis #1: Avocado “Green” Granola

March 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

INTRODUCTION:

I like to eat avocados.  My Mom also likes to eat avocados.  Unfortunately, she can’t eat as many of these babies as I can and when she buys the 5-pack from the store, she inevitably ends up with the last one or two close to rotting.  Curiously, these blackening pear-shaped victims of time often make their way to me in Waterloo (my parents live in Toronto), where I am somehow expected to do away with them.

The most recent avocado that Mom left behind was, unfortunately, quite distasteful.  As I sought to finish him off plain with a spoon, I soon realized that the texture was incredibly off-putting compared to what I normally seek in an avocado.  I did, however, note that its consistency resembled something like margarine, and I couldn’t help but speculate whether or not a decent baked good could be made out of him.

Thus, in a desperate attempt to get rid of the rotting culprit, the idea of “Greenola” was born: crunchy, nutty, granola clusters made with avocado.

MATERIALS AND APPARATUS:

Materials:

  • 1/2 of a large, mushy avocado
  • 1 snack-container of applesauce
  • generous dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • a mixture of grains (amaranth, buckwheat, quick-cook oatmeal)
  • a mixture of flare (dried coconut shreds, goji berries, raisins

Apparatus:

  • One large mixing bowl
  • Spatula/large spoon
  • Toaster oven and tray
  • Baking sheet or foil
  1. In a large bowl, hand-mix the avocado and the apple sauce until any and all remaining bits of the avocado are well incorporated into the apple sauce.  Depending on the rotting state of the avocado, this may take anywhere from 3-6 minutes.  (Alternatively, you may wish to use a food processor or blender for this step.)
  2. Pre-heat toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Throw in your grains into the wet avocado-apple mixture, adding more grains until the consistency of the entire mixture reaches a thick batter.  At this point you should add your spices and mix well again.
  4. Now pour the batter onto the oven tray (which is lined with some sort of baking paper or foil), flatten to spread evenly, and return tray to oven. (Alternatively, you may also want to bake them in clusters.)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20-25 minutes (or until golden), fluffing every 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, add flare, toss, and let cool.

RESULTS:

The resultant unbaked granola batter appeared greenish in hue.  Figure 1.a shows the batter spread out on a baking tray before placing in toaster oven.  Figure 1.b presents a close-up of the batter before baking.

Figure 1.a: "Before" green granola on baking tray.

Figure 1.b: "Before" green granola, close-up.

After baking in the oven for 50 minutes (accident!), the granola no longer appeared green.  Figure 2.a presents a close-up of the “after” granola.  Figures 2.b and 2.c show the “after” granola with a fork, and in a bowl with a fork, respectively.  The goji berries and dried coconut shreds were added to the bowl after the granola had been removed from the oven.

Figure 2.a: "After" green granola, close-up.

Figure 2.b: "After" green granola, with fork.

Figure 2.c: "After" green granola, in bowl with fork.

DISCUSSION:

In terms of taste, it was a risky decision not to add any nuts to the raw granola batter.  The reason I chose not to do so was because I did not want to create a granola that was heavy on the fats, regardless of how healthy those fats may be.  I was pleasantly surprised when the “after” granola offered a naturally delicate nutty taste – I had forgotten that that was a native characteristic of the avocado!

With regards to the texture, I had been afraid that the granola would not have any “crunch” and/or form any clusters post-baking.  While the resultant granola was predominantly crumbly, there were nonetheless some clusters formed.  These were formed mainly around the perimeter of the baking tray.

Another concern was sweetness.  I banked on the applesauce creating a natural sweetness and figured that honey could always be added post-baking if the granola was not sweet enough for my taste.  While the resultant granola is not sweet by any means, I am not compelled to add any honey to it.  The goji berries and raisins seem to contribute an inherent sweetness to the granola overall.

In conclusion, with an inherently delicately nutty and sweet taste, “greenola” is a delicious way to do away with rotting avocado gifts from mothers in Toronto.  Since the granola in this experiment was left in the oven much longer than required, cluster formation and overall taste may have been affected.  Further experiments should focus on altering baking temperature and corresponding time to produce higher cluster-yields.

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