Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yummy Cherry Almond Granola

Makes 12 cups

Chock-full of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and natural sweeteners, granola is easy to prepare, and, when it’s homemade, it’s much lower in sugar and fat than store-bought varieties. This basic recipe can be easily adapted to create many different versions, including the three variations that follow. You can omit the nuts or the dried fruit, as desired. For a vegan option, simply omit the egg whites; the granola won’t be as crunchy but will still be delicious. Freeze granola in an airtight container for up to three months (it thaws quickly), or store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 ¼ cups chopped nuts, such as raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, or combination (optional)
¼ cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or sunflower seeds
1/3 cup ground flaxseed or toasted wheat germ, or a combination
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
¾ cup sweetener, such as honey, agave, or unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit, such as sour cherries, cranberries, currants, raisins, apricots, figs, or pineapple

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts (if using), pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites and salt until frothy. Add honey and oil, and whisk to combine. Stir into oat mixture until combined.

2. Spread mixture in even layers on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes; remove from oven, and use a spatula to gently flip the granola and move it from the outer edges to center (to brown evenly). Return to oven, and continue to cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely on sheets, then transfer to a bowl; stir in dried fruit.

Nutritional info: Per ½-cup serving: 207 calories; .7 g saturated fat; 5.5 g unsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 68 mg sodium; 3.8 g fiber


Pistachios, Sunflower Seeds, Sour Cherries, and Toasted Coconut
Use 1 ¼ cups chopped pistachios and ¼ cup sunflower seeds in the base. After granola has been baked, stir in 1 cup dried sour cherries and ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut.
Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Currants, and Puffed Brown Rice
Use 1 ¼ cup sliced almonds and ¼ cup pumpkin seeds in the base. After granola has been baked, stir in 1 cup dried currants and ½ cup puffed brown rice.

Macadamia Nuts with Crystallized Ginger and PineappleUse 1 ¼ cups chopped macadamia nuts, and molasses as the sweetener in the base. Add ¾ teaspoon ground ginger to the oat mixture. After granola has been baked, stir in ¾ cup chopped dried pineapple, ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger, and ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut.
Reprinted from the book Power Foods by the editors of Whole Living magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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