A few years ago I began experimenting with making my own granola. I love that I can control what ingredients are included.
I can add all my favorite flavors, customize however I like and cut back on sugars and unhealthy fats as I see fit. I’ve come up with several, delicious and easy combinations and never buy granola at the store anymore.
My latest recipe is a cardamom scented, orange granola that’s perfect for bringing some sunshine and warmth on a cold winter day. I just love citrus this time of year. I made a huge batch of this granola during the holidays this year and gave it as gifts. Needless to say it was very well received, so I was excited to share the recipe.
Cardamom-Scented, Mandarin Orange Granola
3 Cups of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (Not Quick Oats or Steel Cut)
1 cup of roughly chopped raw or blanched almonds
½ cup of roughly chopped raw cashews
¼ cup unroasted sunflower seeds (if you only have roasted seeds then just wait til the end and add them in with the dried fruit).
1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Dash sea salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup real maple syrup, honey or agave syrup
Scant ¼ cup of water
½ teaspoon orange extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of roughly chopped, dried mandarin oranges (I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
½ cup dried cranberries
Extra-Decadent Option: ½ cup best quality white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Combine the dry ingredients (oats through salt) and toss in a large mixing bowl.
Do not add the dried fruit until after the granola comes out of the oven. Dried fruit tends to burn and taste bitter when it is baked along with the other ingredients so after much trial and error I realized it’s best to leave it out.
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients (coconut oil through vanilla extract). Mix well and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix well and incorporate all the ingredients. Let it sit for a few minutes so that the spices and extracts can infuse the oats.
Spread granola mixture onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often so that the edges don’t burn. Remove from oven when granola is toasty brown all over and fragrant.
Let granola cool completely. Add the chopped mandarins, cranberries and white chocolate chips if using.
Store in a glass jar and eat dry as a snack or in a bowl soaked in vanilla non-dairy milk.
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Author: Victoria Fedden
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Stacy Spensley/Flickr