Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gingered Apricot Granola

Someone asked me the other day why it is that every fall we seem to happily embrace pumpkin spice. Honestly I don't know. It's become quite a thing in recent years, and I see huge displays of pumpkin spice items in the grocery stores. Not that I'm complaining. I've fallen on the pumpkin spice bandwagon myself, but it is puzzling that we just tend to go for it in the fall months; pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin are available year-round.
I feel the same way about soups, stews, and homemade granola. It's not all that often that I make these things during the summer, but once fall hits, I'm making them like crazy. Homemade granola is something I absolutely love, not just as a cereal for breakfast, but also as a topping for quick breads and coffee cakes, a mix-in for salads, as a crunchy ice cream or yogurt topping, and, if it's chunky enough, to eat as a snack on its own.

Making granola is very easy once you have a basic recipe. Essentially oats, a sweetener, and a binder are pretty much all that you need. I like to experiment by building on these things, throwing in different fruits, nuts, and spices that I like, to see what I end up with.  You can seriously go crazy with all of the combinations that are available. Consider, for example, pumpkin pie spice and Pepitas in place of nuts for a pumpkin spice granola. If you prefer apple pie, make an apple pie granola using chopped dried apples, walnuts, and apple pie spice. You're limited only by your imagination, so take this recipe and run with it.

This week I came up with a maple syrup-sweetened apricot and crystallized ginger variety that is quite an eye-opener for breakfast in the morning thanks to its peppery ginger addition.

Nothing is easier than throwing this together. You can do it in a couple of minutes, bake it up, give it a stir halfway through baking, let it cool, and serve. I keep glass jars on the counter in the kitchen filled with different cereals, one of which contains homemade granola. You’re going to want to give this recipe a try.
Gingered Apricot Granola

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 8-ounce can mixed nuts
½  teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, diced fine
1 3-ounce package Melissa’s dried apricots, diced fine
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl.

Spread mixture evenly in a large shallow 1” deep baking pan and bake, stirring and halfway through baking, until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Cool granola in pans on racks for 15 minutes, and then stir in ginger and apricots.


Linda said...

I have a good granola recipe that is very close to yours (minus the nuts), but I have never mixed in dried fruits. Your additions are causing my mouth to water, so I need to try it! I would weigh 400 lbs if I lived near you.

Linda said...

I meant to comment on pumpkin pie spice. I realize I am probably in the minority, but I am not fond of cloves, and cloves are included in every fall spice combination on the shelves. :( I usually do my own rendition with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a pinch of mace.

thepaintedapron.com said...

This sounds perfect Pattie!