Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Balsamic Honey Granola with TVP

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Because some recipes are so weird I just HAVE to try them.  My curiosity always gets the better of me.

Yeah, I know, I've been putting balsamic vinegar in a lot of stuff lately. And by stuff I mean food.  Fruitvegetablesketchup, salad, grilled carrots and sweet potatoes, pizza, and now granola.  But it's Weird Recipe Wednesday, so it's okay. Right?

Granola with balsamic vinegar isn't quite weird enough for me so I added some TVP, Textured Vegetable Protein.  Let me explain. My friend Emma just finished an internship with The Soyfoods Council.  Her job was to develop creative recipes featuring TVP.  I had heard of TVP, but never actually used it.  After seeing all the great recipes Emma developed I was inspired to try it out for myself.  TVP is made from defatted soy flour; making it low-fat and high in protein.  It is typically re-hydrated and used as a meat substitute.

Somehow the balsamic vinegar didn't make the picture.
During my internship last summer a dietitian asked me to develop a recipe for a high-protein, low-carb granola that was also low-fat and low-calorie.  I know, right?  It was a fun challenge and had I known about TVP I would have used it.  Dry TVP is similar to Grape-Nuts cereal, but with less carbs and more protein.  So why not try it in granola?

 Based on what I said yesterday, you might want to save this one for a rainy day. Or you can just be weird like me and turn your oven on in the middle of a hot summer day to make granola, your choice. The flavor of this granola reminded me of the clusters in Honey Bunches of Oats cereal.  Did anyone else pick out the bunches from the box so you had extra in your bowl?  My evil twin did that.

This granola is light, crispy and crunchy.  A predominant honey flavor is nicely complimented by a tang from the balsamic vinegar. It is mostly individual grains and very few clumps.  If you like clusters in your granola I would suggest adding some ground flax seed or toasted wheat germ as a binder. This would also help the TVP stick to the oats. If you don't have TVP you could add more oats or crisp rice cereal. Keep in mind you may also need to adjust the liquid ratio if you do either of these things.  I'm definitely enjoying this balsamic vinegar trend.  I'm sure Emma's recipes will win me over on TVP too. 

 Balsamic Honey Granola with TVP
inspired by Emma and Simply Scratch

1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup dry TVP
1/8 tsp salt (I actually made it with 1/4 tsp, but thought it was too salty.)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.
* In a large bowl, combine oats, crisp rice cereal, TVP and salt. Set aside.
* In a small saucepan, combine honey and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
* Pour over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet.
* Bake 30 minutes or until mixture begins to crisp, stirring every 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

Food for Thought: "Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 24:13-14


  1. I, for one, will never tire of recipes using balsamic vinegar. What a great use of TVP, this recipe sounds great. Thanks for the shout out.

  2. can I possibly add more TVP as a sub for rolled oats and rice cereal (i don't have any)? This recipe looks so so good! Especially for a person who eats low carb (me).

    1. You could certainly use more TVP to increase the protein and lower the carbs. However, I wouldn't suggest using all TVP (but I haven't actually tried it, so it might be fine). I'm not sure how the texture would come out with just TVP, but it would be closer to hard Grape Nuts cereal than granola. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try it.
      I've also tried using part TVP in my cooked oatmeal, but I like it better in the granola form.