Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cranberry-Walnut Granola

This cinnamon- and coconut-spiked granola, sweetened with dried cranberries and pure maple syrup, is perfect in a bowl with almond milk, or packed in a baggie for a midday snack. It's healthy, too: walnuts, flax seeds, and cranberries are all superfoods. (But aren't most foods super?)

I have cats, too. This is Chloe.*

Feel free to substitute other nuts and dried fruits. Almonds and dried blueberries are yum, especially if you add a dash of gluten-free vanilla extract. Pecans and raisins are classic.

Cranberry-Walnut Granola

The technique here--dry-toasting the oats, nuts, and seeds in a skillet, then finishing the granola in the oven--is adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Be sure to use gluten-free oats, which are grown, harvested, and processed in dedicated fields and facilities.
Cinnamon is to granola as sticks are to Willa.*

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup raw chopped walnuts
a handful of sunflower seeds
1 tbsp or so flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a dash of salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (use more or less to taste)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Heat your largest nonstick skillet over medium heat for a minute or two. When hot, add the oats and toast for 5 minutes or so, until fragrant. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir occasionally.

Add the nuts and seeds, stir, and toast for another minute or two. Add the coconut, stir, and toast again.

When everything smells toasty (this will be less than 10 minutes later), turn off the heat. Add the cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup, and stir well. Transfer the granola to the parchment-lined cookie sheet and stick it in the oven. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for about 20 minutes, or until fully toasted and fragrant.

All done and smelling yummy.*

Stir in the dried cranberries and cool on the baking sheet. Then transfer to an airtight container.

Makes about 4 cups.


* I have been taking pictures on my crappy cell phone, which explains their poor quality. A food blogger really should get batteries for her camera!

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