Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cherry Pecan Walnut Granola

This month I am going for heart healthy food in support Go Red for Women.  So, every recipe this month will be lightened up and healthier than normal.  (Plus my sweet tooth has been out of control recently and I might as well lighten up the sweets if I am going to be eating them like crazy.)  What's on the calendar for the month?  Spinach mushroom lasagna, triple chocolate chip cookies, and apple cinnamon bundt cake to name a few.  

To start the month off, I woke up this morning and felt like whipping up some simple, easy and delicious granola.  I have been meaning to make some more granola for a while now, and finally went to Costco to buy oatmeal so that I could.  Plus, after a great weekend back in North Carolina hanging out with my family and not cooking or baking, I was ready to get back into the swing of things.  This granola is butter and oil free; sweetened with a little honey and brown sugar, and jam packed with cherries, pecan, walnuts and flax seeds.  It is super easy to make, and simply delicious.  

Laying it all out...apple sauce, dried tart cherries, brown sugar, flax seeds and honey...

...plus pecans and walnuts.

Stir is all together and then add in the oats.

Onto the baking sheets and into the oven.

Cherry Pecan Walnut Granola
*serving size 1/2 cup
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  In a small saute pan, toast the nuts on medium heat until you can smell them or lightly toasted.  Transfer to cutting board and set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flax seeds, cinnamon, cherries, raisins, light brown sugar, honey, applesauce, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

4.  When the nuts have cooled, coarsely chop them, and then mix them in with the applesauce mixture.    

5.  In two additions, add the rolled oats, folding until evenly coated.  Divide the granola between the two baking sheets, and spread out into and even layer.  Bake the granola on two oven racks placed close to the center of the oven for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, stir the granola and alternate the baking sheets in the oven.  Bake for 22-25 more minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Store the granola in an airtight container and enjoy with Greek yogurt, milk or just as a simple snack.

Here are the health facts per 1/2 cup serving:
267 calories per serving
Total Fat 10.2g
    Saturated Fat 0.9g
    Trans fat 0g
Cholesterol 0g
Total Carbohydrates 40.9g
    Dietary Fiber 5.3g
    Sugar 21.4g
Protein 5.5g

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