Sunday, January 22, 2012

Maple Cherry Pistachio Granola

If you've spent more than twenty seconds talking to me or looking at my blog, it should come as no surprise that I am a dessert lover. I mostly blame my mom for this penchant for all things sugary. I mean, this is a woman who is not opposed to eating cake for breakfast, nor was she opposed to letting me eat cake for breakfast on occasion as a child. Apparently, as I have since learned, cake is not commonly on the menu for breakfast in most households. That's too bad, because cake for breakfast is amazing. For the record, my mom was not a horrible excuse for a parent. She did make me eat healthy food, just not at every meal.

Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that I can't live on dessert alone. Well, I'm sure I could survive for at least a little while on just dessert, but I think my pants would eventually put up a pretty strong protest. Sadly, I do feel the need to sneak in healthy food from time to time, particularly at breakfast. Enter this granola. It's full of wholesome ingredients, it's a cinch to make, and it's very tasty. Even David says so. Also, it's a more socially acceptable breakfast alternative to cake.

This granola is also very customizable. I happen to like cherries and pistachios, so that's what I used this time. Feel free to use any fruit and nut combo you like. Hey, even throw in some flax or sesame seeds if you're feeling crazy. I like to sprinkle it over a bowl of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit; David prefers to eat his with milk, a la cold cereal. It's also pretty good eaten by the handful, straight from the jar.

Maple Cherry Pistachio Granola
adapted from Annie's Eats

2/3 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cups roasted pistachios
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups freeze-dried cherries*

1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add chopped pecans and pepitas to a large pan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, allow nuts to brown slightly, 3-5 minutes. Add the oats and canola oil to the pan, stirring to combine, and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes, or until oats appear slightly toasted.
3. Transfer contents of pan to a large bowl. Stir in pistachios, maple syrup, egg white, and salt. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake until granola begins to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. If you prefer larger clumps of granola, do not stir. Otherwise, stir 1-2 times during baking.
4. Allow granola to cool completely. Cooling overnight without stirring should result in granola with larger clumps. Once granola is cool, break in to chunks, add cherries and store in an airtight container.

*I prefer to use freeze dried fruit in my granola, as opposed to dried, for a couple of reasons: first, it is crispy instead of chewy; second, it generally has no added sugar or preservatives. I can usually find it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, and I've seen a couple of varieties at Target.

Linked to: Things that make you say: "Mmmmm", Creative Me Monday, Savvy Homemade Monday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Trick or Treat Tuesday


  1. What? Not everyone has cake for breakfast :) I love cake! The granola looks awesome too.

    1. I know, right. I personally think cake is great for breakfast. David, on the other hand, looked at me like I had two heads the first time he saw me serve myself a big slice of leftover birthday cake for breakfast. Oh well, he doesn't know what he's missing.

  2. Looks delicious!
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  3. I love granola. Thanks for the great recipe and sharing it on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!