I LOVE GRANOLA. Truly, I can’t say this enough. I put it on everything, or just eat it on its own. My favorite recipes are liberal with the salt, creating that heavenly combination of sweet-meets-savory. A granola in my house will always have plenty of nuts, and will never have raisins. Never, never, never.
One thing I like to mix up in my granola is its texture. Sometimes I love a super-crisp, crunchy sort; one that needs a long bath in almond milk before you can sink your teeth into it. Other times, I’m into a softer granola with a higher moisture content, almost reminiscent of a museli, with a pleasant contrast between crisp, toasted nuts and a soft, sweet fruit (except raisins, never raisins). This recipe is the second kind.
If you have read many of our blog posts, you already know that we are pretty obsessed with two things: Fall harvest season and Milk & Eggs grocery delivery. This recipe is the perfect meeting of the two - we ordered up a bunch of our favorite fall treats, tossed them together with some spices and yummy grains, and baked ‘em low and slow until this yummy, festive granola was born.
There are some options here for modification, so feel free to play around. For one, if you don’t have fresh cranberries (or you don’t like their super-tart flavor as much as I do), you can swap out the fresh ones for 1 cup of dried cranberries. Or, if you’re one of those raisin people, you could swap out for those, too… just don’t tell me about it. Nuts and seeds are endlessly interchangeable, so are the fats (maybe try all olive oil or even coconut), so have fun with it! That’s what granola is all about.
Maple Cranberry Autumn Harvest Granola
Serves 7 - 10
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 cups fresh cranberries (or 1 cup dried, if sweeter flavor is preferred)
3 small sweet apples (like Honeycrisp), chopped
1/4 cup butter or vegan butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup apple butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 325° F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, cooked quinoa, pecans, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and chopped apples.
Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and warm the butter until melted and foamy. Remove from heat and stir in almond butter, apple butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add the pumpkin pie spice mix and salt, and stir until smooth and well incorporated.
Pour the warm butter mixture over the dry oat mixture, and thoroughly stir to combine, ensuring that everything is well incorporated.
Spread the granola evenly across the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, tossing the mixture and rotating the pans halfway through the baking process. Once the granola is crisp on the edges, and the fruit is fully cooked, remove from oven, and drizzle 2 tbsp honey over the hot granola. Allow granola to cool completely before serving or storing*.
*because this recipe contains fresh fruit, it’s best to eat it within a few days of baking. It can also be stored in the fridge to extend its life, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Groceries for this post were kindly provided by Milk & Eggs, our favorite grocery delivery service! All opinions are our own.