Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cranberry, Orange Ginger Granola


8 Cups Rolled Oats, Quick Oats
Zest of One Medium-sized Orange
1 Small Knob of Ginger, sliced into thin rounds
2/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries, chopped
2/3 Cup of Cashews (or mixed nuts; pecans, almonds etc)
2/3 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
½ Tbsp Allspice
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Dashes of Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Zest the orange and slice the ginger, place in small skillet with the water and sugar. Cook until simmering and allow ginger and lemon zest to infuse. Heat on med-low after sugar is dissolved for about 8 minutes. Let cool. Once cool, strain out the ginger and orange. Add the vanilla extract. Finely chop the orange zest and ginger. Reserve.
  3. In a large baking/sheet pan/pyrex spread out the oats evenly. Add spices. Drizzle the infused syrup over the oats evenly. With a spatula, mix all the ingredients so that everything is coated well.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Mix the oats again and rotate the baking sheet. Bake for another 15 minutes. The browner the granola gets, without burning, the crunchier it will be.
  5. Remove pan from oven and empty granola into a bowl and allow it to cool. Add cranberries, nuts and the diced orange ginger. Mix well. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator. It will keep indefinitely.

I make my own granola constantly. Its cheaper, you can flavor it however you want and get it crunchier than the store bought stuff. Want to cut down on time? Just use maple syrup instead of making your own syrup. Its what I use most often and it tastes great toasted. Honey works too. Use about 1 cup of maple syrup or honey. Mostly just make sure the syrup coats the oats evenly. I stay away from the dried store bought coconut because it has chemicals in it that make the strands stay white. Store bought coconut is also loaded with sugar. Different extracts work too, for example if you wanted to make a hazelnut granola sub out the vanilla extract. I’ve mixed almond & vanilla extracts together and that’s worked well too. Ovens bake differently, I have an old oven that bakes unevenly, if you have a newer oven, 350 degrees is probably a better temperature to bake at.

No comments: