Mango Ginger Granola
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola)
1/4 cup agave syrup (or extra 1/4 cup honey)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup chopped almonds (I just smashed whole almonds in a baggie with a rolling pin and really like the rustic texture that gave them but you can sub slivered or sliced)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 cup diced dried sweetened mango (can substitute other dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, apricots etc. or a combination for other varieties)
Greek yogurt for serving (see note)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Mix the oil, agave syrup, honey, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and vanilla in a small bowl, whisking until smooth. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and salt. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir, making sure everything is evenly coated. Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool completely. Toss in diced mango (or other dried fruit) and sunflower seeds. Store in an airtight container. Serve with Greek yogurt (or milk, or over ice cream or handfuls right out of the container...).
Note on Greek yogurt: Greek style yogurt is much thicker and smoother tasting than traditional yogurt. Until a few years ago, I had never heard of the stuff, but now it is readily available and showing up in more major brands all the time. It's higher in protein than regular yogurt and I really love its "spoonability." That said, Greek yogurt is a bit pricey.
You can make your own cheaper, shortcut version by buying and straining containers of regular yogurt (of course you can make your own yogurt from scratch too, but let's not get to crazy today!).
To make shortcut Greek yogurt, line a fine-meshed sieve with a cheesecloth or paper towels and place over a bowl. Spoon regular yogurt (we usually do plain, any flavor or milk fat will do) from a large container into the lined sieve and place in the refrigerator.
Allow yogurt to sit until desired consistency (at least a couple of hours). The extra liquid will drip into the bowl underneath and the yogurt remaining will be thick and rich. If you let it go for more than a few hours, it will get almost as thick as cream cheese (actually called yogurt cheese and good for some uses, but probably not for eating with granola any more). Also, you can use the leftover liquid mixed with some milk in pancake batter.
|it was a hit with the small one (as seen by his scraping the dregs...)|