Now that I’m working full time, I’ve been challenged with finding new lunch ideas. Gone are the days of having a full kitchen at my disposal anytime of the day, so the easier it is to prepare the easier my life is. I’ve been enjoying hummus and vegetables, soup, and various fresh fruits but I’ve been craving something nutritious and hearty for my 2pm snack.
After far too many crackers and chips, I decided to make my own granola. It was surprisingly easy and came together quickly. I used olive oil as the fat base but you could use coconut oil for a unique twist. To make the granola vegan you could replace the honey with maple syrup or agave nectar as well. With the kids back in school this week, homemade granola would be the perfect weekday breakfast or even as a lunch box snack. What made this granola so enjoyable though was fresh dehydrated fruit.
Last month, BigKitchen provided me with a Waring Pro food dehydrator and it’s been so much fun preserving fresh summer produce. I’ve made everything from fruit leather and banana chips to sun dried tomatoes and jerky. With produce at it’s peak right now, this dehydrator has been especially useful. Last week I dried fresh herbs from my garden which will be perfect for winter cooking.
From all the things I’ve made, I have to say dried cherries have been my favorite. They are so expensive at the store that I rarely purchase them, but making them at home is significantly cheaper and they aren’t packed with added sugar and preservatives. I used a combination of dried cherries, pineapple and apple in this honey nut granola recipe and it was superb.
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* Congratulations commenter #88 Courtney! I’ve e-mailed you with the details.
Now to what you’ve all been waiting for, the giveaway! BigKitchen is providing one lucky reader with a new Waring Pro food dehydrator! (pictured above) To enter, visit their website and then in the comments below tell me what kitchen gadget you would love to have.
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Giveaway is open to legal U.S residents 18 years of age and older. No purchase necessary. This giveaway is sponsored by BigKitchen, however all reviews and opinions are my own. Giveaway ends Wednesday September 19th 2012 at 6pm eastern time. The winner will be announced on this post and will contacted by e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize.
Good luck y’all!
Honey Nut Granola Recipe
Yield 6 cups
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cups dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dried pineapple
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a small bowl combine kosher salt, cinnamon and ginger.
- In a large bowl combine rolled oats, almonds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with the small bowl of spices.
- In a medium bowl combine olive oil, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the honey mixture into the rolled oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Fold the granola onto a cookie sheet and bake for thirty minutes, tossing the granola and rotating the pan every 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Store in an airtight container.
If you like this recipe, you may also like:
- Tropical breakfast quinoa
- Healthvanilla bean cherry chocolate granola bars
- Strawberry mango hibiscus fruit leather
- Baked honey oatmeal with raspberries and pistachios