The recipe I'm presenting this month is for one of my favorite renditions of granola. It combines many of the traditional granola ingredients -- rolled oats, nuts and dried fruit -- with some items that give it a special flair -- like cinnamon, orange juice and maple syrup.
It's also a quick mix to make, taking only about 25 minutes. The time it takes for the granola to bake is perfect for chopping the dried fruit -- if you haven't already done so. Once it's completely cooled, all you have to do is find a place to store it. If you think it will be used within 2 weeks, find a good spot on the pantry shelf. If it will take a little longer to enjoy it, put it in an airtight container -- a resealable plastic bag will do the trick -- and pop it in the refrigerator.
Before I share the recipe, here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy granola:
- Drizzle a combination of two or three of your favorite chopped fresh fruits with maple syrup, warm in the microwave and top with a healthy dose of granola.
- Layer granola and yogurt in a parfait glass for an elegant morning meal.
- Sprinkle toasted granola over your favorite vanilla ice cream. If you're really adventurous, try drizzling a flavored syrup over that!
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of granola over muffin batter before baking to add a crunchy top to your favorite muffins.
- Incorporate some toasted granola into the toppings for your favorite fruit crisps and pies.
- Grab a bowl of granola the next time you find yourself with the munchies -- it sure beats a bowl of greasy potato chips.
Feel free to share your granola ideas with me too! And now, without further ado, I give you ...
- 3 c. rolled oats
- 1 c. wheat germ
- 1/2 c. chopped almonds
- 1/3 c. chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/3 c. orange juice
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. chopped dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, almonds, walnuts and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, maple syrup and butter. Heat over medium heat -- stirring constantly -- until the butter melts. Do not allow the mixture to boil -- reduce or remove from the heat if necessary.
Pour the orange juice mixture over the oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread the mixture into an even layer on a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes -- mixing thoroughly after every 5 minutes. Cool the granola completely and add the dried fruit. Mix to combine and store tightly sealed in a cool, dry place. The granola will store for about 2 weeks on the pantry shelf and 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Yields: about 6 cups
- Preparation Time: 25 minutes