Gorp and granola bars often make up the bulk of our snacking once we've hit the hiking trails, but I wanted something beyond the store bought fair and run of the mill peanuts and raisins.
This recipe came to the rescue. The base of this can be made up on its own, or dressed up with any combination of nuts, dried fruit and spice. This version takes advantage of walnuts, ginger and cherries to up the ante.
adapted from Men's Health, Nov 2011
yields about 4 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with foil. evenly spread the oats over the sheets and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake until crisp
and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together the juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, and ginger. Pour the mixture
over the toasted oats and toss to coat. Return to the oven and bake until crisp and browned, about 20
Allow the oats to cool, toss with cherries. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
This granola blows most store bought varieties out of the water! The oats crisp up so well and are bursting with a deep nutty flavor. The ginger spices thins up with just a touch of warmth. And the cherries provide a deliciously tart burst of flavor as well as some added texture.
My only complaint was that the granola did not clump together nearly as much as I hoped it would. My granola was a loose mixture of oatmeal and additions, as opposed to granola's more desirable clusters. That being said, this treat still works incredibly well atop yogurt or even as a cold cereal. It is just a little tricky to eat on the trail...