While you’re reading this, I am currently living it up in New Orleans!
I can’t tell you what the heck I’m doing, because Steve and I left with absolutely no plan.
Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie. I had 2 plans. Bourbon and beignets. Have I ever mentioned my life revolves around food? In fact, I’ve spent the last week being suuuuuper food conscious just so I could live it up a little on this vacation. I was pretty cranky for most of the week because I reallllllly hate anything resembling a diet, but I’m pretty sure it was worth it.
Okay, enough about my trip–let’s talk about granola! One day I had the brilliant idea that I was done buying things at the store that I can make myself. I made my own Larabar replacement, and granola was the next thing. I literally eat it every single day, and it is not cheap!
So then, in true Ari fashion, I tried to bake like 7 things in a 2 hour time period, declared that making things from scratch was a big waste of time, and I would immediately be going back to buying granola, and granola bars for that matter, at the store.
But after one bite of this stuff, I was sold. As I was taking pictures, I kept sneaking little nibbles. I must have eaten at least an entire serving just during my photo session!
The robust, nutty flavor is more full and bold than any granola I’ve ever bought at the store. It baked up perfectly crunchy with next to no oil in the entire batch, and the soft, sweet cranberries are the perfect touch to balance out the flavors and textures.
Then I realized that this made enough granola to last me at least a month! 12 cups of deliciousness for about 1 hour of time? Totally worth it!
**Note: I wanted to add dehydrated apple chips to this, but I couldn’t find any. If you have them–they would be delicious!
Cranberry Almond Granola
yield approx 12 cups
adapted from David Lebovitz
- 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if that’s important to you)
- 3 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened reduced fat coconut
- 1/3 cup milled flax seed
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- pinch cloves
- heavy pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey or agave
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 300. Line two large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, seeds, coconut, brown sugar and seasonings.
- In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce, maple syrup, honey/agave, and coconut oil until well combined, whisking constantly.
- Add the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between your 2 prepared baking sheets.
- Bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Lightly toss granola every 10-20 minutes while cooking. The more often you toss it, the less clusters you will have.
- Cool completely, then add cranberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I’ve never made a batch last any longer than that, but it’s still great a month in!