My love affair with granola has spanned many years, during which time, I have tested several recipes. Although I have enjoyed virtually all of them, this Cranberry Almond Granola reigns supreme (pretty sure I just channeled Alton there…).

For a long time, this had been my go-to recipe, for its simplicity, its healthiness, and for its deliciousness. Then one, awful, day, I lost it. I don’t know where I misplaced it; I probably put it somewhere for ‘safe-keeping’. The ingenious spot was so safe, in fact, that I was Cranberry Almond Granolaless for an obscene amount of time. After ransacking my apartment, shedding a few tears, and a day of legitimate apathy and listlessness, I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and moved on. All of the new granolas that came into my life after that fateful day were ok, but I couldn’t help but compare them to my first love. I guess that it was unfair on my part, but I never really gave them a real chance…I courted them for a while, but then found myself giving them the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ talk, and never calling them to get together again.

Recently, however, I stumbled upon my old love while navigating the information super-highway, and we have lustfully reignited our old flame.

Because I’m an open-minded person, I’m going to allow my granola to see other people, and share it with you…

This has a delicious, almondy, flavour, is crunchy, and pretty versatile. Feel free to substitute similar ingredients in or out, and enjoy! In the world of granola, there’s enough of it to go around, so don’t be shy.

Cranberry Almond Granola

Adapted from USA Weekend

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup chopped, sliced, or slivered almonds

1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened, coconut

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp almond extract

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.

3. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, almonds, and coconut in a bowl (leave the cranberries out for now).

4. Bring syrup, oil, and water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

5. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.

6. Pour mixture onto prepared pan.

7. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps.

8. Bake for 40 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. If you want your granola even crispier, leave it in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, but keep an eye on it to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Let cool.

**Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

I eat this all the time with fruit and yogurt. Sometimes I’ll even eat it plain. Ohh, goodness: its too delicious.

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