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It's summer, so what better topic to discuss than hot tea!? A little derisive, but I do live in Canada and the weather is fickle. Plus, I was in need of hot tea and sweaters just two weeks ago while on the west coast. I'm a blogger for all climates.    

For those of you unfamiliar with what a London Fog is, it's simply a tea latte featuring earl grey and vanilla. I was obsessed with pricey London Fogs in university and every time I smell earl grey, it takes me back (can well all agree that putting a Starbucks on campus is enabling?). I've been to London, England a couple of times, once asking for a London Fog while visiting. No one knew what I was talking about (*crickets*) and I had to coach them through it. After this hard-hitting investigative endeavour, I've decided that North Americans made it up -breaking news!  
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I'll fast forward a couple of years. While attending nutrition school, I had to participate in a series of practicums. They were on a range of topics, some I found interesting, some not so much. One that I did think was rather fascinating, albeit, not very applicable to everyday life, was a two hour seminar on tea hosted by a fellow nutritionist and "tea sommelier," which apparently exist. 

I learned the "correct" way to steep different teas, the health benefits, caffeine content, growing regions, harvesting, drying, roasting, smoking (smoked tea is absolutely not "my cup of tea"), and more. Tea happens to be incredibly health-promoting, and not just green tea. Green tea appears in the news so frequently because it's the most studied of all tea varieties, not necessarily the healthiest. With the exception of herbal teas or "tisanes" (yes, that's their scientific name), all tea is similar health-wise across the board. Pick your poison, you can't go wrong. All types of tea are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. Tea contains a few minerals and almost 20 amino acids. Additionally, it has also been shown maintain a healthy brain, digestion, increase longevity (thanks to all of those potent antioxidants), and can help to calm and relax. Time to get your steep on.  
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With all those fabulous health benefits, you'd think I would guzzle tea. However, I don't even drink "real" tea very often. Most days I steep the peppermint leaves that are taking over the side of my house. That's it. Although, it could just be the warm weather talking! Nevertheless, I do enjoy the flavour and aroma of tea year-round, especially earl grey, so I like to aromatize my food with it. It's ideal in cookies, rice, rice pudding, chia pudding, smoothies, oatmeal, and of course, granola. As long as you're pairing it with some fat or heat, like I've done here, the flavour of the tea will be pronounced. I've baked the dried apricots with the granola, resulting in a candy-like surprise with each bite. Also, you may notice that the apricots are brown. They haven't gone bad, they're just unsulphured, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you have handy. 

While I find granola a little too sweet for my palate at breakfast, I've been eating this particular blend as an afternoon snack with hemp milk, coconut yogurt, perfectly plump local blueberries from down the road (So fresh. I've been downing about 2 pints-worth per day!), banana, and almond butter. Additionally, (a bonus recipe within a recipe!) the hemp milk in the bottom of the bowl turns in "London Fog Milk," which someone really needs to start selling. This snack, oh boy, hits the spot. My sister loves this granola on her salad as a sweet crouton. A savoury combo that I dig, too -don't knock it until you try it! One more thing, definitely try to get your hands on some raw buckwheat groats as they add a little "snap, crackle, pop" to the mix. 
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London Fog Granola with Hazelnuts and Apricots

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

Makes approximately 4 cups  

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats (wheat-free or gluten-free, if you like)
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
2/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced
1 tbsp loose leaf early grey tea or your favourite loose leaf tea
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture, stir to combine. Spread evenly on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Toss. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Toss again. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for 1 to 2 months.
 


Comments

07/22/2014 12:43pm

I LOVE your photos in this post! This granola sounds so good, and the glass canister is so charming!

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Gorgeous granola! I've never heard of a London Fog but it sounds delicious. I can't tell you how much I love the idea of adding the flavor of Earl Grey to a granola recipe. : )

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07/22/2014 2:58pm

I was just thinking today about making some granola. It was approx. 6 dollars for a tiny canister and I was thinking to myself "I need to learn to make that" And that was just plain granola, no hazelnuts or apricots which would totally up the price. What surprised me the most was the addition of the loose leaf tea. I have never heard of adding tea to a granola like this, but with the health benefits tea boasts, why not? I'm a huge tea fan. Unlike coffee, it keeps me off the up and down roller coaster.

At first I thought you were talking about London, Ontario not UK London with your whole earl grey latte, will have to order there someday....sigh. Until then, I'll just enjoy my Tim Hortons in Canada.

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07/22/2014 4:35pm

What a great idea! I love infusing my baked goods with tea essence, tea loafs etc. Putting tea leaves in granola is so creative! I will have to give this one a try!

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07/22/2014 5:01pm

I've not heard of London Fog tea! And Earl Gray is my absolute favorite tea... couple that with vanilla!? Whaaaa!? I NEED some of this tea! Then, I NEED some of this granola! I'm putting buckwheat groats on my list. I think my Co-Op will have it in the bulk bin. I'm in! And the combo of coconut oil and maple syrup... perfection. Thank you, Allison! So glad your back!

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07/22/2014 6:12pm

I love making my own granola. Besides how delish it smells as it bakes, it's super awesome to eat. And, the addition of tea to the granola is fabulous! Like having your tea and eating it too... er, or something like that. ;)

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07/22/2014 6:25pm

This looks amazing! I love granola and hazlenuts and tea so this is a breakfast dream come true for me :)

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07/22/2014 7:34pm

I haven't had London Fog tea in such a long time, Allison! I'm not a huge tea drinker, but I do like that tea! And what a fabulous idea to infuse it in this granola! I am loving the flavor combination!

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07/22/2014 7:38pm

Love the idea of using tea leaves in granola!!! Wonder how it tastes!! Looks gorgeous!

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I love these kinds of posts - because I love learning!!! I've never heard of a London Fog (but I have now!!!). And I've never made granola...which makes me sad, because this looks amazing!

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07/22/2014 10:23pm

London Fog, where have you been all my life?! That sounds like my dream beverage. And this granola looks so unique and delicious, especially with hemp milk, coconut yogurt and fresh fruit. Mmm...

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07/22/2014 10:23pm

I loved reading this post and I love tea. Earl Grey reminds me of when I was in school. I would stop at the Starbucks and get an earl grey latte. So Yes, I do think they are enabling having those on campus. :D
I love how you infused the granola with the tea leaves. Clever!

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07/23/2014 2:42am

i too just made my own granola.. i seriously think there is nothing better than home made granola in the morning. i definitely am taking your idea of using hazelnuts and earl grey tea when i create my next batch.. those are two of my favourite tastes. thanks for sharing the recipe!

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07/23/2014 5:56am

This looks absolutely amazing! I have never heard of a London fog but it sounds delicious! I am so jealous you can get pint of fresh berries from down the road!

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07/23/2014 6:04am

I'm not sure whether to first try the London Fog or the granola. I've never heard of an earl Grey tea latte. Here in South Africa we have red lattes which use rooibos tea. I might adapt your granola recipe to use the indigenous tea instead :)

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07/23/2014 8:26am

Very cool idea using tea in granola. Gosh your pictures are amazing, and I adore that little jar in the top pic. I have a thing for cute jars and bottles. :)

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07/23/2014 1:00pm

Ahh I looooved London Fog's, I used to order them all the time in high school. And then I went to the US for university and when I first ordered one here they had no idea what it was either! Supposedly there is a 'Bombay Fog' one too that is with chai tea.

I always see tea infused cakes and cookies but have never seen it in granola. That is a lovely idea. And I would be first in line for your London Fog flavored milk when it comes into mass production ;)

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07/23/2014 1:53pm

I watched a youtube video on Tastemade where they made London Fog and loved the idea. Also, so fascinating the way you learned how to make tea "properly" ! I do need to get more into tea, and starting with this granola is a great idea. I don't know why I just pictured this going great with figs on top!

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07/23/2014 4:37pm

I love hot tea even in the summer. :) Beautiful photos Allison and how creative to use tea.

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07/23/2014 9:56pm

I've actually had London Fog tea! So good! I can imagine how delicious this granola is. Yum!

Your photography is so beautiful : )

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07/23/2014 11:52pm

I totally know what a London Fog is!! That is kind of hilarious that no one in London knew what it was, figures! My mom drank Earl Grey tea all the time when I was younger so the smell brings back so many memories. I wish I could drink hot tea year round, but unfortunately the 200 degree weather in Arizona doesn't allow for that! However, I couldn't defiantly go for a big bowl of this granola right now :) I need to try granola as a crouton because I'm obsessed with all things crunchy, especially when it comes to salads!

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07/24/2014 8:20am

Once again, a very creative idea and executed beautifully both through your writing and photos (but really, that goes without saying!)
I giggled at your story about asking for this 'London fog' in London and them not knowing what it was! I wouldn't have had a clue, either - definitely a North American creation!
I LOVE these kinds of afternoon snacks that you describe & I can imagine how tasty this would be with that unusual Early Grey taste. So healthy, as well!

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07/24/2014 8:35am

Allison you are such an inspiration. You writing is so thoughtful, funny, and insightful. I really look forward to visiting your page! I love the unique flavors in this recipe. I will have to try this out!

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Allison
07/29/2014 7:32am

Thank you so much for the sweetest comment, Elyse! You're a darling. If you try the granola, I hope you love it as much as I did :)

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07/24/2014 2:52pm

How beautiful! I love drinking tea, but it's never even occurred to me to use tea as an ingredient. What a great idea! Do you always keep the skins on hazelnuts for nutrients? I've read recommendations to remove them them in order to take some of the bitterness away, but I wasn't sure if that reduced the nutrient level.

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Allison
07/24/2014 2:56pm

Hi Emily, Thanks! I used raw hazlenuts in this recipe so I couldn't skin them before or after. I make hazelnut butter a lot and always roast and skin them. They didn't have any detectable bitterness in the granola thanks to the maple syrup. It wasn't really a nutrition thing, just what I had on hand. Feel free to use skin on or off hazelnuts (or almonds or peanuts -any nut will work!). Either way, the oven temp is very low and won't cause the healthy fats in the nuts to go rancid :)

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07/26/2014 2:32pm

Thanks for the reply, Allison! Will try leaving the skins on next time. Saves time and so much prettier!

07/25/2014 10:01am

I'm loving the London Fog in granola idea! Sounds like a really nice subtle flavor boost. And I adore hazelnuts and apricots- this recipe is a winner!

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07/28/2014 11:59am

This is so creative - I love your idea to flavour it with Earl Gray tea! Gorgeous photos too.

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07/28/2014 2:02pm

What a brilliant idea to flavor your granola with tea! Also, where can you buy buckwheat groats? I have no idea how to get my hands on them. Thanks!

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Allison
07/28/2014 5:13pm

Hi Heather, thanks so much! I bought my buckwheat groats at a bulk food store called The Bulk Barn. They're definitely available on amazon.com as well or on the Upaya website. Probably at Whole Foods or a health food store as well. Hope this helps :)

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Giada
07/30/2014 9:35am

Hello! I'm italian and someone help me! :) What does mean ' toss again'? I don't find the traslation :/

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Allison
07/30/2014 9:41am

Hi Giada,

By "toss again" I mean to mix the mixture around with a wooden spoon or spatula one more time (a second time). It's just to help the granola cook evenly. Toss is just another word for mix or stir. Does this help at all? :)

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