Friday, December 30, 2011

Crunchy Granola

I have recently been introduced to the wonderful world of Greek yogurt.  For those of you who have never tried it, greek yogurt is creamy and smooth and thicker than plain yogurt and it is a little bit on the tart side, but in a good way.  My favorite way to eat it is with fresh berries and crunchy granola.  The granola adds a great texture and all the sweetness you will need to balance the tartness of the yogurt.  YUM!  

Of course you do not have to put this granola over yogurt, you could put it over your ice cream, sprinkle it over your pancakes or waffles, sprinkle it on your muffin batter before you pop them in the oven, or you could just eat it as cold cereal with some milk.  Give the recipe a try and tell me what you think!

Crunchy Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup walnut pieces 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons b!utter
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried blueberries, raisins, chopped dates, cranberries or a combination 
1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and salt.  

In a small saucepan melt butter with honey and brown sugar over low heat, stirring.  Add vanilla and pour mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer.  Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.  (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled).  Cool the granola on the pan and then stir in the dried fruits and coconut.  Granola may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes about 5 cups

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