Friday, February 18, 2011

Almond Cranberry Granola

 I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe with you yet... especially considering I make it about once every two weeks. I guess it's so ingrained into my standard cooking repertoire that it doesn't stand out to me as something special and the fact that I eat it practically every day makes it seem that anyone else would find this completely non-interesting. But then the other day I was eating breakfast and I thought, "someone else might want this... I should share it!" So, here it is friends.

This is honestly one of the easiest things I make. I know I say that a lot around here and John is always telling me that my definition of easy and simple is radically different from that of the general population, but trust me. This will literally take about 7 minutes to throw together. And it's absolutely perfect on top of yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert. Or by itself by the spoonful from the jar... not that I would know or anything. It's crunchy, sweet, and it will actually keep you full until lunch. It's also so simple that you can easily memorize it or customize it however you want! Dried apple slices would be awesome or sunflower seeds for a salty-sweet treat.

Almond Cranberry Granola 

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups regular oats (not instant)
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Makes about 5 cups of granola.

Preheat the oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the water and brown sugar in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt into the syrup and set aside.

Mix oats, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Pour the syrup over the oats and stir until the syrup evenly coats the oats and they  start clumping together. Dump the oats onto the baking sheet and spread out into an even layet. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

Using the parchment paper to help, pour the granola into a large bowl, breaking up the pieces as you go. Stir in the cranberries. Once it has cooled completely, transfer to a large airtight container to save.

Serve with plain yogurt and blueberries on top. Perfect!


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