In my younger years, I was afraid of anything high in fat, even in so-called healthy foods.
Granola? Forget it.
Avocados? No way.
That was my teenage brain. Thankfully, 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
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup raw honey
5 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup chopped 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.