Cranberry-Almond CLUSTER Granola

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The holidaze can be a tricky time of year for vegans.

Heck, they can be tough for any of us whose main food groups do not consist of Christmas cookies, Swedish meatballs, or egg nog (if those are your main food groups I suggest you take a good, long look at da pyramid). While holiday gatherings are not usually geared toward my “hippie dippie” tastes, I’ve learned that the best way to eat a delicious and hearty meal during the holiday season is to make it myself, goddamnit.

This last week has been jam-packed with holiday parties of every sort. While endless conversations about my future as a spy and free alcohol never get old, finding things to eat before I gnaw off my own hand can be, as I said, challenging. At this point I’ll admit that my hand tastes pretty awful.

My strategy to avoid pathetic plates sparsely filled with green beans and bland broccoli this holiday season has been to bring my own food to share. On Christmas Eve I made Poppy-seed encrusted butternut squash with kale and pomegranate and a huge delicious salad of spinach, roasted cauliflower, clementine slices, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and my favorite balsamic dressing. Anticipating pork on the table at Christmas dinner with my Grandma I prepared roasted butternut squash with fresh cranberries, chickpeas with wild rice n’ radish seeds, and maple-glazed Brussels Sprawesomes

In the name of taking food matters into my own hands this holiday season I decided to make some granola which had everything I like: great crunch, big clusters, not overly oily, and not overly sweet. I made this batch for my parents as an xmas prez and I can happily report that it was demolished within, uh, 24 hours of receipt. It’s got (I’m using the present tense like it’s still around) these irresistible clusters that make it a perfectly munchable breakfast or snack. Or dinner. I’m not judging.

Cranberry Almond Cluster Granola

Makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup oat flour (oats ground up in a blender or food processor)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable)
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds (or other nuts/seeds)

Preheat oven to 275º

1. Mix oats, oat flour, wheat germ, salt, and chopped almonds in a large bowl.

2. Bring syrup, coconut oil, and water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto a lightly greased pan and squeeze the mixture together into a condensed mound.

3. Bake for 30 minutes at 275º, then remove and allow to cool completely. Gently break the granola into chunks and stir in the dried cranberries.

Many more holiday noms coming soon…

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