Monday, January 24, 2011

Olive Oil Granola with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

This granola recipe was originally made with dried apricots, but what I had on hand were dried cherries, so I decided to use that instead and it was delicious. I liked not only the taste, but the presentation of this granola, as it has more colors than those I normally make. I only now realize that it’s a recipe by Melissa Clark, she of the red lentil soup. It makes about 9 cups of granola. I suggest using two baking sheets instead of one, but then make sure to keep a close eye on it as it’s baking. If you’re making this without gluten, make sure the oats are certified gluten-free.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups raw pistachios, hulled
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled (sunflower seeds would be good too)
1 cup coconut chips (shredded coconut would be good too)
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup finishing quality extra virgin olive oil
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¾ cup chopped dried apricots or dried cherries

Preheat oven to 300 °F. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet or two, in an even layer, and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots or cherries, tossing to combine. Serve with plain lactose-free yogurt or milk, if desired.

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