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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chewy, Crunchy, Fruity Granola

I L.O.V.E granola! I love that you can add the ingredients that you like the best and not limit yourself to what a recipe calls for. So, that’s exactly what I did! I’m a big fan of variety when it comes to texture and flavor. Therefore I have added a lot of both and it comes together beautifully in this colorful and flavorful granola! It is soooo yummy! And stays CRUNCHY in milk! Take that, quaker granola! But seriously, get creative and throw in the ingredients that you love best! Happy Granola-ing!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In large bowl combine and set aside:

2 1/2 cups oats (preferrably whole)

3/4 cup wheat germ (optional, but helps with overall body and texture)

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup cashew pieces

In small saucepan over medium heat mix and bring just to bubbling:

1/3 cup grapeseed oil (my second choice would be coconut oil, but vegetable oil will work great too, just looking out for the health conscious;)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey (I used orange blossom, but obviously any flavor will be great!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp salt

Pour hot mixture over oat mixture, combine and coat well. Spread out on a tin foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. And into the oven bake for 10 minutes, then take out and with a spoon mix around to allow even baking. Then back into the oven for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile chop up:

3/4 cup dried apricots

3/4 cup dried strawberries (obviously if you can’t find these, cranberries are awesome too).

The dried fruit will be sticky once you’ve cut it into smaller pieces, so put the fruit in a small bowl and toss with a little flour to coat just enough so they won’t glob together. Then throw into a strainer to shake off excess flour. Once granola is out of the oven and cooled a bit, break apart and combine with fruit. Store in air tight containers or ziploc bags. Because this makes a decent sized batch, I decided to line some cute little cardboard gift boxes with parchment and take some around to a few neighbors. It should be a nice change from all the yummy sweet stuff I’ve been sending their way!;)

Recipe and post by Kar

images by Kar

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