Ghoulish Granola with Jeepers Peeper’s Tacos

Ghoulish GranolaGhoulie and Ghoulish Granola_small

We recently visited Universal Studios in Orlando and I wanted something healthy to snack on during our time there and not be beholden to the unhealthy and expensive fast food snacks that theme parks seem to provide.delicious granola_small

I wanted something that would taste good, provide us with a bit of energy to handle all that walking, and something that would not only satisfy us, but also keep my blood sugar from spiking.  I am a borderline diabetic.  I have to watch everything I eat and drink. 

we are enjoying our ghoulish granola_small Julie grapes granola_small

Red and White Grapes with our Ghoulish Granola

Ghoulish granola snack_small

This “Ghoulish Granola” was something Gordon and I came up with together, it’s wonderfully delicious and we think you will like it too!

We were at Universal Studios on September 15.  What was so great about being there at that time was they already had put up their Halloween decorations, so that made visiting the park all the more “ghoulish”.

Gordon and Julie’s Ghoulish Granola

granola option_small

 

Ghoulish Granola_small

 

Ingredients for ghoulish granola_small

Recipe Ingredients for our Ghoulish Granola

We tripled ours since we had so much to work with.

12 Dried Dates chopped into small pieces, 25 Dried Apricots chopped into small pieces, 3 Cups Almonds, 3 Cups chopped Pecans, 3 Cups chopped Walnuts, 3 Cups Quaker Oats, 2 1/2 Cups Raisins, 3 Cups Pumpkin Seeds, 3 Cups Sunflower Seeds, 3 Cups Pine Nuts, 3 Cups Baked Shredded Coconut, 2 Cups Dried Blueberries, 3 Cups Dried Bing Cherries, 1 Cup Pomegranate Crasins, 1 Cup Cranberry Craisins, Agave Syrup, 18 Sugar Free Dark Chocolate bite size candies chopped, Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, Splenda Brown Sugar, 1 Tbsp Ground Cardamom, 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves, 1 Tbsp Chinese Ginger, and 3/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg.

My Diet Cranberry Juice_small Agave Syrup and Diet Cranberry Juice_small Splenda Brown Sugar_small

Here we try and use healthier ingredients.  It is not only good for me and my medical condition, but it is also imperative you incorporate less sugar into your lives, so your good health can last as long as possible.  Here we use Diet Cranberry Juice, Agave Syrup (instead of honey, it doesn’t cause sugar spikes) and Splenda Brown Sugar, instead of regular brown sugar and one Cinnamon Stick.

Adding a cinnamon stick to the liquid_small add the cinnamon stick_small

You want to bring your Cranberry Juice, Agave Syrup, and Splenda Brown Sugar to a boil then turn to medium-low heat and cook until the liquid reduces to a light syrup consistency.  Add a Cinnamon stick to the liquid for additional flavor.

Adding the spices_small Cardamon Spice_small

While reducing, add the Ground Cardamom, Ground Cloves, Ground Chinese Ginger, and Ground Nutmeg to the liquid.  Watch the mixture doesn’t boil over as sugar mixtures will when heated.

Boiling the liquid and toasting pine nuts_small

Boiling the Liquid and Toasting the Pine Nuts

pine nuts are ready_small toasting the almonds_small

Toasted Pine Nuts and Toasted Almonds

We toasted the pine nuts and the almonds on the stove for just a few minutes on a medium heat.  You just want a nice little tan on each and you will smell the nuts when ready.

almonds toasted_small chopping the almonds_small almonds in big chunks_small

The Toasted Almonds, Chopping the Almonds, then Combining them to the other Ingredients

My Favorites, Dates

my favorite dates_small

Delicious!

dried apricots_small

Love the Dried Apricots

(This makes them so gloriously Halloweeny)

chopping the already roasted walnuts_small combining all ingredients apricot_small removing the pits and chopping the dates_small

Here Gordon has chopped the already roasted walnuts, chopped the dried apricots, and the pitted dried dates.

toasting the coconut_small Toasting the coconut in the oven_small beautiful toasted coconut_small

Here we toasted some sweet shredded coconut in the oven to add to our ghoulish granola. It only takes a few minutes on 350’F as you will have to turn the coconut a few time during the cooking process.  Since we are cooking the entire mixture again, we only need to cook the coconut until it is slightly toasted.  It should look like the picture below.

you want it to look like this_small

 

delicious but loaded with sugar_small

Delicious But Loaded With Sugar

All of these ingredients are loaded with sugar.  But you can eliminate some of the sugar by taking our advice with the other ingredients. 

sugar free chocolate_small This is soooooooo good_small

We used Sugar Free Dark Chocolate but don’t make our mistake.  We should have added the chopped chocolate to the mixture AFTER we had already poured the liquid to the ingredients.  But we had added it with the ingredients and the hot liquid had melted it into the mix.  It was still good.  But I would have preferred the chocolate chunks in the mixture.

put everything into a bowl except the chopped chocolate_small our chocolate mistake_small

Adding All the Ingredients Into a Bowl or Two

adding the Quaker oats_small Pouring it in the pan for the oven_small

Adding the Quaker Oats

pouring the syrup over the mixture_small

Pouring the Liquid Over the Mixture

spread out on a cookie sheet_small

Spread onto a Cookie Sheet

(We placed the mixture onto a parchment paper, but I think you could have just sprayed some Pam onto the cookie sheet and then placed the mixture onto it and I don’t think that it would have stuck to the sheet.)

Into the oven they go_small

Into the Oven They Go

Ghoulish Granola from the oven_small nice and toasty_small right from the oven_small

Ahhhh..  Perfect!  Nice and toasty good!

vintage Halloween Jackolantern Pumpkin man_small

Our Ghoulish Granola

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Chocolate Sucker Pumpkins

chocolate suckers and a vintage pumpkin_small Chocolate pumpkins_small

White and Chocolate Pumpkin Suckers

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Jeepers Peepers Chicken Taco Eyes

Bloody Mary option_small Julie Halloween tacos close up_small

Bloody Mary’s

But instead of a celery stalk we used a spring onion with a black olive on top as the crown.

Jeepers Peepers Tacos_small Jeepers Peepers_small

These are simple and FUN!  My chicken tacos in a corn taco shell topped with cheese and some sour cream dollops for the eyes with a sliced olive and a tomato for a nose.  Add some lettuce for some ears, see photo at right.  And some chips and salsa.

Tacos with chips and salsa_small

Great for Children AND Adults

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Happy Halloween

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