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« cod with tomatoes, olives, and thyme: a weeknight fave | Main | moroccan-spiced chicken with preserved lemon: the best lessons are the hardest »

pistachio cherry granola: bring on the good fats – and the big flavor

When I was a teenager, I was afraid of anything high in fat, even in so-called healthy foods. I desperately clung to the weight I had managed to maintain through regular exercise.

Granola? Forget it.

Avocados? No way.

I finally got the good fat-bad fat concept through my noggin. (What, you mean good fats like coconut, sesame, and walnut oil actually control your weight, protect your heart, and support your physical and emotional health? Yep, it's true.)

With that past me, I can finally enjoy a guilt-free handful of almonds and tasty bowl of granola. What a relief, because I always loved those foods but was too afraid to eat them. This recipe is inspired by one in Nigella Lawson’s “Feast." She uses brown rice syrup, which is a great alternative sweetener to refined sugar to curb those blood sugar spikes. And of course, with rolled oats, this granola is loaded with good carbs. But forget about health, this is one great bowl of cereal. The husband agrees.

Pistachio Cherry Granola with Cinnamon and Ginger

4-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup toasted salted sunflower seeds
¾ cup sesame seeds
¾ cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
2 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together everything but the cherries so that all the ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the mixture out on one large roasting pan or two medium-sized baking sheets (you want to make sure it spreads in an even layer). Bake for one hour, stirring the mixture mid-way through to get an even crispiness throughout. Remove from the oven, cool, and mix in the cherries.

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