I’ve had the impression of wading through mud the entire week. My mother frequently says that when she is having trouble getting things done. I’ve always had this weird idea that the mud is actually chocolate pudding, which makes for a more appetizing image.
I’ve spent the entire week slogging through chocolate pudding. There are barriers everywhere! I have made so many trips to the grocery store over the past few days that I am at a loss for words. You’re aware of the process. Brussels sprouts aren’t available in the first grocery store, spring roll wrappers aren’t available in the second, and frozen spinach isn’t available in the third supermarket’s freezer area. When you eventually arrive in your house, you discover that you left Parmesan off the list. Oh, dear.
I assume I’m not alone in that. I’ve come to the conclusion that my idea of utopia involves a supermarket that stocks everything I require. No, I retract that; in my vision of heaven, there is a self-stocking kitchen. Why does that not already exist? It’s 2015!
This granola filled my house with the lovely aroma of fresh orange and warm maple syrup, and I found myself daydreaming about self-stocking kitchens. I’ve been eating granola again, and this variety has become my new favorite. It’s exceptionally tasty and extra clumpy.
Even though I typically aim to use only natural sweeteners in my baked products, this one needed a small modification. I rubbed the zest into a couple of teaspoons of sugar because I’ve found from previous experiences that doing so intensifies the citrus flavor. That worked perfectly!
In addition, I now know how to make extra-clumpy granola. After tossing the granola midway through cooking, the secret is to slightly crowd it. Put it down into a thick, even layer with a spatula. After that, let the granola to cool completely before slicing it. Before I took these pictures, this batch had to cool and harden all night.
Of course, this granola makes a delicious snack. For breakfast, it tastes great with plain or vanilla yogurt. If you’d like, you may add some fresh fruit. Clementine segments would be simple and delectable, and ripe banana slices are always a good idea.
Also read: Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins
- 1 large orange’s, ideally organic, zest
- a choice of two teaspoons of granulated sugar
- Old-fashioned rolled oats, 4 cups (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- raw pecans (or other nuts or seeds*), 1 1/2 cups
- 1 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt (reduce to 3/4 teaspoon if using regular table salt)
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
- Melted coconut oil in a half cup (or olive oil)
- 12 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup of cranberries, dried
- Set a big, rimmed baking sheet aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Orange zest and sugar should be mixed together in a small bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until it is fragrant and bright orange. This process will guarantee that your granola is flavored with orange.
- The oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon, and orange sugar should all be combined in a sizable mixing dish. To blend, stir. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil. Mix well.
- Place the granola on the baking sheet that has been prepped. Create an even coating of granola. When the granola is beginning to turn a light golden color, bake for another 24 to 28 minutes, stirring halfway through (check at 22 minutes if using honey in place of maple syrup). As it cools, the granola will get crisper.
- Before incorporating the dried cranberries, let the granola to cool. For a longer shelf life, store the granola in the freezer rather than keeping it at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.
This recipe is a variation of my honey almond granola.
If you’re using big, whole nuts (like pecans or walnuts), just follow the directions as written. Wait to incorporate pepitas or other small nuts or seeds, or big coconut flakes, into the granola until you take it out of the oven halfway through baking.