We’re down to the wire with only two episodes left in this first season of Chopped Canada. It’s hard to believe that since January we’ve seen almost 100 chefs from across the country compete with over 100 mystery ingredients thrown at them in odd combinations. With the second season in the works, it will be interesting to see how perplexing things will get next year. Anyway, back to one of the ingredients that was highlighted this past week – oats!
You’ll find oats in a lot of different items: bread, muffins, cookies. But if there’s one thing that I think everyone should be able to make at home, it’s a simple granola. The best thing about making granola at home is that it’s easy to customize. If you don’t like apricots or dried cranberries as much as I do, then don’t put them in. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you can always add things like chocolate chips or smarties, but that sort of defeats the purpose of granola, now doesn’t it?
Because I am proudly born and raised Saskatoon boy, I couldn’t help but throw in a handful of dried Saskatoon berries – which we saw in the appetizer round of last week’s Chopped Canada episode – while making this batch of breakfast goodness.
This recipe makes a big batch of granola and lasts quite awhile, so you can look forward to a good start to your morning every day for a couple of weeks…if you’re not sharing, that is.
Maple Cinnamon Granola
Yields: 5 cups
Total cook time: 25 minutes
½ cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons liquid honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
3 cups large oat flakes
½ cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
? cup dried cranberries
? cup dried saskatoon berries
? cup roasted almonds
2 teaspoons sea salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Place oats into a large mixing bowl and pour oil mixture over top, stir until oats are evenly coated.
4. Spread out evenly onto 2 baking sheets and let bake in oven until edges of granola start to turn golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and carefully stir around granola with a spatula, return to oven and let bake for 5 more minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring to a large bowl.
7. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
8. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry space and use as desired.