Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
If the sight of bikes strapped to cars is anything to go by, camping season is well upon us. I myself cannot confirm this – the closest I’ve come to communing with nature this year was when I hiked (walked) to Washington’s Snoqualmie Falls from the Snoqualmie Falls parking lot (observed difficulty level: barefoot toddlers and women in kitten heels welcome).
Anyway, camping season means camping snacks. And I’ve been holding out on you.
I made these pecans for the same Washington adventure (most of which was spent in Seattle, eating pastry, at which I’m much more adept). And somehow, I forgot to share them for four weeks. Which you might take to mean that they were forgettable. And for this I would forgive you because, if I’m honest with myself, even I, lover of all things oat, don’t think that oat-crusted pecans sound that exciting.
But these are no dusty, last-resort, after-all-the-cosmic-cookies-are-gone sort of snack. These are the kind of thing you want to split into two containers, keeping the slightly larger of the two a secret from your fellow campers. They’re rich, crunchy, and that combination of sweet and salty that makes you want to keep snacking.
In an airtight container, they’ll stay crisp for days – perfect for a weekend away from a fridge. I’ve thrown in some suggestions of how to turn them into the base for a tasty trail mix, but they’re delicious all by themselves (perhaps with a can of bearspray within reach?). Now don’t wait for four weeks to make them!
Adapted, slightly, from smittenkitchen.com
Makes ~2.5 cups and doubles easily
3/4 cups uncooked oats (rolled or quick) (add an extra 2-3 tbsp for more granola clusters)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of brown sugar (light or dark*)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon or finely grated orange zest
1/8 tsp fine-grained salt
1 large egg white
2 tsp water
2 cups of pecans (or other nuts)
To make trail mix add up to 2 cups of some mix of the following: Dried fruit (raisins, cherries, coconut flakes, chopped apricots, chopped dates, etc.), raw seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), cereals (plain cheerios, puffed rice or wheat, Chex, etc.).
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, combine the oats, coconut, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon/orange zest, and salt.
3. Pulse in spurts until the mixture is fine but not floury. You should still be able to pick out distinct bits of pumpkin seeds and oats.
4. In a large bowl, beat the egg white and water with a fork until foamy.
5. Gently toss in the pecans and stir until they’re coated in the egg white.
6. Pour the oat mixture over the pecans, and stir again to coat.
7. Spread the nuts on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, or until the granola mixture is golden, stirring gently at the 10-minute mark. Let the oats cool completely on the tray. Toss them with the trail mix additions (if you’re using them), then store your mix in an airtight bag or container.
*In theory, dark brown sugar will give your pecans more of a molassesy flavour than light, but the quantity is so small here that I doubt it’ll matter much.