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.

Please feel free to change out the almonds and craisins
for whatever nuts or dried fruits you like. I just used what I had in my pantry.

Most recipes call for maple syrup but I prefer pancake syrup.
Growing up in the South, most of us had Aunt Jemimah’s if we were lucky and could afford it.
My family boiled brown sugar and water for pancake syrup. Doc’s family boiled granulated sugar and water.
Real maple syrup tastes odd to me!

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 or the granola will end up in a million tiny pieces.
Cool the granola as a solid piece, then break into chunks.
Whew, that’s a lot of information!

Cranapple Cinnamon Almond Granola

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

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Move top rack to the upper third of the oven.
In a small saucepan stir brown sugar and cinnamon together. Stir in cranapple juice.
Heat over high heat and bring just to a boil. (When the sugar dissolves it is ready).
Remove from heat, add oil, and set aside.
Place oatmeal and almonds in a large bowl.
(You will add Craisins after granola is baked and cooled.)

Pour juice mixture over oatmeal and almonds. Stir to coat oatmeal evenly.
Move the oatmeal to one side in the middle of the bowl. Look to see if there is any liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
If there is any liquid, wait for the oatmeal to absorb all the liquid before baking the granola. After all liquid is absorbed transfer  granola to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Spread granola almost to edge of pan in a rectangular shape.
Press granola into one even layer with a silicone spatula.
Bake in upper third of oven 35 to 40 minutes or until granola is light brown.
Cool completely. After cooling, 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 15, 2023.

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