Last night I watched 6 episodes of Grey's Anatomy (season 6, Mercy West merger - and don't judge me) with a bag of this granola by my side. It started out very, very full. And eventually I ate it all the way to the bottom. I went through an entire bag of granola by the end of the second episode, which is both impressive and kind of sad. But not the least bit surprising becuase granola is one of my favorite foods; it's healthy, rich in vitamins and filling. Not to mention, it tastes ridiculously delicious when baked with the proper flavors. Like cherry and almond. Delicious, I tell you.
The thing I love about this granola recipe is that it's not loaded with sugar and oil, like most granolas. But, if you'd like to amp up the sweetness, you could double the amount of agave nectar - but I wouldn't recommend it. In an ideal world you would use cherry puree in place of the cherry juice, but since cherries aren't redily available all year around, the juice will suffice. I bet this granola would be great with mini chocolate chips. Maybe some cacao powder? And add as many add ins as you want - the more, the merrier. Because getting a handful of cherries isn't such a bad thing.
CHERRY ALMOND GRANOLA
6 tbsp cherry juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 tbsp soy cream
2 c. rolled oats
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cherry juice, agave, molasses, vanilla extract, almond extract and cream; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, flax meal, salt and coconut, then slowly stir in the cherry mixture. Spread the granola over the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes then remove from oven and mix in the almonds; break up any large clumps and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (if you used more than 1/4 cup of agave, you may have to bake it for an additional 15-20 minutes). Remove from oven and toss with cherries immideately. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a small brown bag for storage.
Yield: approximately 3 1/2 cups