Cranapple Cinnamon Almond Granola with Greek Yogurt

Cranapple Granola

I have been developing a recipe for granola over the past several weeks.
Tweaking the flavor, trying to get the crispy crunchy texture everyone loves.
Doc came home several times from work and said, “You made granola again?”
I didn’t serve it to him for supper but he was afraid I would!

Here is the recipe I came up with.
Feel free to change out the almonds and craisins
for whatever nuts or dried fruits you like. I just used whatever I had in my cabinet.
Most recipes call for maple syrup but I really don’t like it.
In the south most of us had Aunt Jemimah’s if we were lucky and could afford it.
My family used brown sugar water for pancake syrup. Doc’s family used granulated sugar water.
Real maple syrup tastes odd to us!

I wanted to pack the granola with a flavor punch so
I used a mixture of cranapple juice,
brown sugar and cinnamon.
It tastes like a candied apple straight from the county fair!
Since everyone’s always on a diet, you might be
tempted to decrease the amount of oil in the recipe.
I tried that and ended up with sticky, soggy mess.
The granola needs a certain amount of oil to be crisp!

One final thing: to get crispy chunks of granola instead of one million little pieces
this recipe calls for you to shape the granola into a rectangle
then press it with a spatula before baking.
As the granola bakes don’t stir. The granola will then break into chunks.
Whew, that’s a lot of information!

Cranapple Cinnamon Almond Granola with Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup cranapple juice
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
5 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Move top rack to the upper third of the oven.
In a small saucepan stir the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Stir in the cranapple juice.
Heat over high heat and bring just to a boil. (When the sugar dissolves it is ready).
Remove from heat, add the oil and set aside.
Measure the oatmeal and almonds into a large bowl.
(You will add the craisins after the granola is baked and cooled).
Pour the juice mixture over the oatmeal and almonds stirring to coat all the oatmeal evenly.
Move the oatmeal to one side in the middle of the bowl.
If there is any liquid in the bottom of the bowl wait for the oatmeal to absorb the liquid before you bake the granola. After all liquid is absorbed transfer the granola to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Spread the granola almost to the edges in a rectangular shape.
Press granola into one even layer with a spatula.
Bake in the upper third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the granola is light brown.
Cool completely. When cool, break into large chunks. Sprinkle craisins on top.
Store in an airtight container. Use within 2 weeks.

Published in The News and Neighbor on February 1, 2014

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