Cherry Almond Granola

Cherry Almond Granola
I think this is my favorite batch of granola I ever made. It was around this time last year that I first encountered Greek Gods Honey Yogurt, which might just be the absolute best greek yogurt there is. Wait, I’m wrong. That is the absolute best greek yogurt there is, without question. And while I have a number of granola recipes under my belt already (see here and here), I kind of felt like I needed to come up with another one. Call me crazy, but I think that having the best greek yogurt ever-along with some tart cherries and almond extract in my cupboard-is reason enough to do so.

It isn’t much different from my others, but the slight changes that I did make certainly took it to an entirely new level. I may have concocted this recipe a year ago, and it may have been for reasons that center almost entirely on a bowl of the most delicious yogurt, but I got it so right that time (with perfect chunks, delicious almond flavor, and the sweet chew of tart cherries) that I find myself still raving about it.

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Cherry Almond Granola

2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp water
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice (I use Rice Krispies)
½ cup coconut shavings (i.e., coconut chips, not flakes)
¾ cup slivered almonds
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
½ cup dried tart cherries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine oil, 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, water, and almond extract. Add oats, rice, coconut chips, almonds, cinnamon, ginger and salt and stir until combined. Pour into a lump on a baking sheet and spread out into an even layer, so that the mixture is about 1 inch thick. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring gently after 15 minutes. At the 25-minute mark, remove from oven and drizzle additional 2 tbsp of honey atop granola, folding into the same inch-thick pile to incorporate. Bake for final 5 minutes, then remove from oven and cover with a paper towel to cool. Let granola cool completely this way before removing the paper towel and gently breaking the granola apart into chunks. Gently mix in cherries, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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