Date Granola

date granola that is growing on me

Granola is growing on me. It was something I once hardly ate. Until recently in fact, I would have said that maybe if there was no other food and I was stranded somewhere … with only granola … then, maybe.

Finally I started experimenting and I’m loving granola. Here is a recipe of mine that I keep as a backup breakfast or for a snack at work. I vary the combination in this granola just like I do in my Trailmix Turtles, and it turns out just as wonderful.

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This simple and nutritious granola recipe is not too sweet or too sticky. You can eat granola in so many different ways, keep some handy for a versatile snack. I have noticed that when I am hungry and eat junk food, it doesn’t really satisfy me. On the other hand, if I eat a little bit of granola like a snack, and especially if I add milk or yogurt, it goes a long way.

Granola’s oats are its secret-power ingredient, as they are a super slow releasing fuel that your body can digest over a longer period of time. Dried fruits are loaded with minerals, and nuts have all the good fats and antioxidants your body needs. What better snack than having some granola around? Keep varying the combination of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds to keep things interesting.

Here is my recipe — fairly dry and crispy and not too sweet, just how I like my granola. Dates add just the right amount of sweetness to the mix and the salt helps it balance the flavor out!

I used:
1.5 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup pure, dark maple syrup
1/4 cup oil (olive oil works best or something light like sunflower oil)
1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
1 teaspoon of whole wheat flour

My method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F)
2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except dates and flour.
3. In a small bowl, mix oil and maple syrup, and pour the combination over the dry ingredients.
4. Toss it all and make sure everything is mixed well.
5. Spread the mix out on a large baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until you can smell the granola and it looks slightly browned and crispy. Stir it once or twice in the middle to make sure it bakes evenly. Bake it a bit longer if you like it really crispy.
6. Let it cool completely. As the granola cools, it will get drier and less sticky.
7. Toss the dates in whole wheat flour, which ensures the pieces don’t stick together, then add them to the cooled granola. The same technique applies for any dried fruit you would like to add — do so in the end.
8. Store in an air tight container, in a cool, dry place.