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Foodie: How to Make Cranberry Maple Nut Granola

If I'm not eating something delicious, I'm usually thinking about making something delicious. This week, it's been all about granola. I happen to be a huge fan of these golden, nutty clusters and from the time I wake up in the morning, through my mid-day snack slump to right before dinner, I can be found sneaking a handful or two. I love keeping it around the house and so I recently started making my own. For my cranberry maple nut granola, I toss rolled oats, sliced almonds and raw cashews in a honey-maple brown sugar sauce. Heating the sugar, dark maple syrup and honey over the stovetop makes the sauce easier to toss with the oat, giving all those wonderful flavors plenty of time to get to know each other. Delicate and mild, the flavors in the honey-maple sauce all balance one another beautifully.

I like my granola lightly browned with some serious crunch. I place my baking sheets in the lower third of the oven and bake them over low heat for approximately 2 hours or until they are lightly browned and dry. It takes a little extra time, but the results are well worth the wait.

Cranberry Maple Nut Granola

4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup ( I use the darker-colored maple syrup, which has a richer flavor)
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup light extra virgin olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 1/3 cup dried cranberries

How to:


In a large saucepan, bring the brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, honey, and water to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cashews, almonds, coconut and salt. Stir oil and vanilla into sugar mixture; pour over oat mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans coated with cooking spray. Adjust the oven racks to the lower third of the oven and bake at 250° for approximately 2 hours or until dry and lightly browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Toss in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container.

By: Rachel Tucker | Image: Rachel Tucker / College Gloss

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