Winter Spice Granola

Winter Spice Granola

Last week I wanted something crunchy but not too-sweet to sprinkle on top of my yogurt and the blueberries that Whole Foods 365 keeps putting on sale, so I came up with this granola recipe to address the textural craving.  I've been laboring not to eat it by the handful, so it is lasting us quite a while and is doing fine on the counter in airtight container.

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3 cups rolled oats

2 cups chopped nuts - single type or various of your choosing (I used pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds because that's what I had)

sprinkle of salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground ginger

dash of ground cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons molasses

dash of vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Stir together oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Heat all wet ingredients (molasses, olive oil, syrup, vanilla extract) in a saucepan until combined, then poor over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.

Spread the mixture into the baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 25+ minutes, stirring every few minutes after the halfway point.

This is a fairly universal granola recipe - it will be on the less-sweet side and can be altered with any number of nuts or add-ins of your choosing.  Andy hates dried fruit so if I'm including that in my granola, I just mix it into my own bowl so I don't have to suffer through watching him pick out all of his raisins and put them on the counter.

I've found that the trickiest part about granola is the exact cooking time and that this depends entirely on your oven.  Use an oven thermometer to see how closely to the exact time your oven rides and most of all, use your nose.  When it smells delicious and toasted and is just starting to crisp, get it out of there - once it starts to smell burnt, it most definitely is.

I'm working on testing out my homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot, to be reported on later.