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.
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.
Red and White Grapes with our Ghoulish Granola
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
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.
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.
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.
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 the Pine Nuts
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.
The Toasted Almonds, Chopping the Almonds, then Combining them to the other Ingredients
My Favorites, Dates
Love the Dried Apricots
(This makes them so gloriously Halloweeny)
Here Gordon has chopped the already roasted walnuts, chopped the dried apricots, and the pitted dried dates.
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.
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.
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.
Adding All the Ingredients Into a Bowl or Two
Adding the Quaker Oats
Pouring the Liquid Over the Mixture
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
Ahhhh.. Perfect! Nice and toasty good!
Our Ghoulish Granola
Chocolate Sucker Pumpkins
White and Chocolate Pumpkin Suckers
Jeepers Peepers Chicken Taco Eyes
But instead of a celery stalk we used a spring onion with a black olive on top as the crown.
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.
Great for Children AND Adults