Monday, November 16, 2009

Cherry almond cinnamon granola

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't kid around when it comes to shopping.  It's not uncommon for me to be out for five hours at a time.  (My mom and sister recently experienced this when we went to Grove City.  I think they needed naps after two hours.  Amateurs... )  And I don't just shop and buy, buy, buy.  I love to take inspiration from displays for outfits, gifts, and even decorations.  It's therapeutic for me... except when I get hungry.  Racing to the food court, I'm usually driven to either a) Chik-fil-A, or b) Dairy Queen.  Delicious yes, healthy not so much.  I decided I needed to carry a snack with me, which I could dip into whenever I needed a snack.  Something travel-friendly, not messy, and that packed a lot of energy into a small space.  Granola!

We've all had the packaged granola bars from the grocery store.  Super sweet, filled with chocolate, but doesn't really give me energy... just a craving for more sugar.  This granola is just sweet enough but has the crunch and ability to satisfy.  And feel free to experiment with this!  I've made versions with pumpkin seeds instead of almonds.  How about dried cranberries and pistachios for a holiday blend?  The sky's the limit!

Just look at that granola!  How gorgeous is that?!

I can't emphasize enough how versatile this granola is.  I've given this in pretty jars as part of a breakfast gift basket.  I've had it on hand for a movie night snack.  I've even poured milk over it and had it as cereal in the morning.  And, of course, I popped some into a Ziploc bag for my shopping trip this weekend, where, with enough energy, I was able to find these.  Bought here... for much less than the price on the website.

Cherry, Almond, & Cinnamon Granola
(adapted from an Ina Garten recipe)
--makes about 10 cups, can easily be halved

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two (or one, if halving recipe) rimmed cookie sheets with foil and fold over edges. 

Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Pour oil and honey over oat mixture.  Add cinnamon and stir entire mixture with wooden spoon until oats and nuts are evenly coated.

Pour mixture onto cookie sheets, dividing equally among the two.  Bake, stirring occasionally with spatula, say every 8 minutes, until mixture turns a nice golden brown -- about 25-30 minutes.

Cool cookie sheets on a wire rack, stirring occasionally until totally cooled.  Store in an airtight container for up to a month (really, I've had it last even longer) or until it's gone :) 

1 comment:

  1. The granola is delicious and it truly does make a great gift.