We started making our own granola last year, after having some for breakfast at a wonderful little restaurant we found in Nashville called Marche Artisan Foods. As is often the case, after buying some of their granola and analyzing it at home I said “I can make this!” So I set out to experiment and develop a recipe we liked.
The first one I came up with that I really liked was this Blueberry Walnut Granola. I have some most every morning, as topping on my usual breakfast of yogurt and fruit. But I didn’t quit there, and kept on experimenting.
My wife loves cherries in all forms, so I set out to come up with a granola that used dried cherries. This recipe is my wife’s current favorite of all my granola creations so far.
It features almonds, walnuts, dried cherries plus sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It also has unsweetened coconut flakes (or chips), which I find at a local health food store. It’s not at all hard to make, and only takes me about an hour from start to finish.
Cherry Nut Granola
The final result is a tasty and nutritious homemade granola – good by itself or as a topping for other things.
Other nuts or dried fruits can be substituted as desired.
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, raw, unsalted
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, raw, unsalted
1 cup dried cherries
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Coat two large baking pans or sheets with cooking spray.
2. Combine maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, water, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
3. Mix oats, coconut, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in large mixing bowl. Pour juice mixture into bowl and stir until well mixed.
4. Spread granola evenly over two baking sheets. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
5. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks. Stir 1/2 cup cherries into granola on each sheet. Allow to cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container.
One of my favorite snacks! I’ve never made it with the maple syrup so I’ll have to give it a try. It’s fun to try different dried fruits. Like you, I add organic coconut flakes.