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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crunchy Enough

My friend Heidi has been getting me in the granola mood lately.  I used to make granola all the time, but like so many things, I kind of fell out of the habit.  Or maybe I went into granola overload.  Or maybe I realized that despite sounding healthy, granola is more akin to a dessert than it is to say...breakfast.

Anyway, while I was waiting for Heidi to send me her current favorite granola recipe, this one appeared in the Off Duty section of the Wall Street Journal.  I love the Off Duty section.  Aside from some seriously good recipes, I love to peruse how "the other half lives".  Doesn't everyone need a $10,000 handbag?

This is a really nice recipe.  It's not too sweet, and it's very crunchy.  For me, minimal sweetness and maximum crunchiness are two make or break aspects of any good granola.  Sometimes granola is just so damn sweet that I think my teeth are going to fall out.  And, often it's just not crunchy enough.  I don't like it so crunchy that my over sweetened teeth are going to break, but it does need a little crunch to keep it interesting.  Plus, the more work it is to eat, the less I'm going to eat, thus removing the threat of eating 10,000 calories worth of granola for breakfast.
Heidi has since sent me her newest granola recipe, so for you granola lovers out there, stay tuned...

Recipe:  Double-Almond Cherry Granola
Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2014


½ cup almond butter
½ cup honey
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chia seeds, optional
1 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup dried cherries


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, mix almond butter, honey and sugar until mixture is meltingly soft and combined, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in cinnamon and vanilla.

In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, chia seeds and salt. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and toss well. It will be sticky. Make sure oats, almonds and chia seeds are well coated.

Spread oat mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place in oven and bake, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Granola will be soft when removed from oven but will become crunchier as it cools.) Let cool on baking sheet, then stir in cherries. (Cooled granola will keep for 3-4 weeks in an airtight container.)

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