Granola

Here is a healthy and easy to make granola. Serve with fresh fruit or make it into a tasty treat when served over some banana ice cream.

Granola (from Straight Up Food)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • 7 to 8 Medjool date or 14 t o16 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
  • 1½ teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 to 2 vanilla beans)
  • 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
Directions:
  1. Place the water, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a blender and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften). Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat and set them aside.
  2. Combine the oats, raisins, and almonds (if using) in a medium bowl.
  3. Blend the dates, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Pour this into the bowl of oats, raisins, and nuts, and stir well.
  4. Spread the granola evenly between the two baking sheets, breaking up any large clumps. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, and shuffle the granola around with a spatula. Return to the oven (but switch racks for even browning) for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned.
  6. Completely cool the granola for maximum crunchiness. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
Chef Variations:

Juice instead of water: For added sweetness and flavor, try substituting the water with any unsweetened fruit juice (like orange, tangerine, pineapple, or apple).

Nut options: Any kind of chopped or small nuts would work here, like walnuts, pecans, or even sunflower seeds.

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