Simple heart-healthy granola
As much as I love my original granola, I’ve since come up with a streamlined version because I make it every single week (yes, we eat a lot of granola!) I ditched the orange zest, cardamom and coconut palm sugar, because people don’t always have those ingredients on hand. I’ve also used fewer nuts and less sweetener so the granola isn’t quite as fattening. Best of all, this recipe is easy to make on a weeknight – it literally takes about three minutes to throw it together.
In the process of revising this recipe, I had several granola revelations I want to share with you today:
1. Adding a half-cup of water to the granola makes it bake up crunchier.
2. Black Mission figs are hands-down the best dried fruit to use in granola.
3. Less-sweet granola grows on you. If you’re used to commercial granola, try using a little more sweetener, but cut it down a bit each time you make the recipe. Soon you’ll think the regular stuff tastes too much like candy (because it is like candy!)
So make my simple granola, and see if it doesn’t become a weekly habit with you, too.
6 cups rolled oats (if you are gluten-sensitive be sure to get oats marked gluten-free)
¾ to 1 cup whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 c maple syrup
½ cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or high-oleic safflower oil
2/3 cup (or more to taste) dried fruit (recommend diced black mission figs)
Heat the oven to 275 degrees.
Combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the maple syrup, water, vanilla and olive oil.
Combine the two mixtures, then spread on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for one hour, stirring once. Add the dried fruit. Cool, then place in an airtight container for storage.