Granola is one of those foods that you generally can’t walk by without taking a handful or pouring yourself a bowl of, and this granola is no exception. I don’t think I’ve ever found granola to be a refreshing food, though. Usually it’s hard to achieve refreshment with sweet, nutty, chocolaty snacks. This granola, however, proves otherwise. I had an abundance of oranges on the counter, some of which were threatening to go bad within a few days, and as much as I love oranges, I didn’t think I’d be able to eat them all before they were no longer edible. So obviously, I had to make granola. In particular, I had to make cranberry orange granola spiked with freshly grated orange zest, freshly squeezed orange juice, and dried cranberries with just the right amount of tartness to balance out the sometimes overly sugary snack.
The orange zest makes this granola fragrant and irresistible,while pumpkin seeds provide it with a wonderful crunch. Cranberries round out the texture by giving it a bit of chew, not to mention a beautiful color. If you’re looking for spring appropriate snacks, look no further. I challenge you to make this granola last more than 2 days.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds*
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened, unsalted nut butter (I used sunflower butter)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a standard rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, nuts and seeds, and optional shredded coconut and ground flaxseed
- Combine applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, oil, nut butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat immediately.
- Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
- Spread mixture into an even layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 55 minutes to one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, stir in cranberries, and allow to cool on pan before transferring to an airtight container. The granola will keep, unrefrigerated, for at least 2 weeks (it’s never lasted longer)!
Do you have a favorite granola recipe? My personal favorite is the Chocolate Chunk Maple granola I made a while back. What are your favorite refreshing springtime snacks?