Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cherry Cranberry and Nut Granola

Tonight I really wish I had a cat. Some furry, purring, warm snuggle toy to keep pestering me to pet it again. Again. Again! You don't have to talk to it, unless you want to. It just wants your attention. This kitty will just lie there, warming up your lap and serenading you with their completely relaxed state. Sunday nights just scream curling up on the couch with some tea and some company. That last statement makes me think that it is sounding like I have officially moved out of summer mode and in to fall mode.

I'm ok with that. And based on the way I have described cats, I could probably learn a lot from them. But what's a girl to do when the household is lacking in the feline availability? What about a crunchy anytime snuggle? Yup, let's make granola.

Pre and post baked results don't look a whole lot different. They are both fairly light (which is how I like my granola, since I "overcooked" the last batch). The main difference between the pre and post is that once baked, the granola is going to form into clusters and crisp up a bit. The clusters are the tsn turning point of granola. Once they form, you know you have really made a great thing. They are the key - the clusters are really what makes the granola. And since I don't have a cat, these granola cluster are going to have to give me the warm-fuzzies instead. Personally I think it worked out well.

Nice and golden, post-baking

Does life get better than home-made comfort food? I really don't think it does.

Cherry Cranberry and Nut Granola:
3 cups oats
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups nut mixture (I used almond, walnuts and pistachio)
1/2 cup dried cranberries and cherries

1. Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, apple sauce, honey, olive oil and vanilla extract. Mix until evenly combined. Add in the nuts and mix until the nuts are evenly distributed through the mix.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the dried cranberries and cherries and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
4. Allow granola to cool completely before serving to allow it to crisp up.

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