Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vanilla Almond Granola

Vanilla and almond are two of the most heavenly flavors when paired together...when I think of this combo spritz cookies and my Grandma's buttercream frosting come to mind.  It is comforting to smell the aroma of vanilla almond!  So I decided that I wanted to make some granola with these two flavors...a sort of non-traditional comfort food.  Why not call it a comfort food?  In my mind it is...sweet and salty and crunchy, all the things I crave! I gave it extra vanilla in the form of vanilla bean powder, and included almond extract along with the almonds to make it extra almondy.  This comfort granola I was making needed some other elements as well, so I added some coconut to make it especially heavenly and some walnuts for crunch!  I thought some dried fruit would be nice in this as well so I added my favorite dried fruits dates and cherries...better than candy!  I used honey as a sweetener this time, because honey is comforting to me as well!  After it was all mixed, and baked off...the granola turned out to be complete comfort food!  Heavenly and delicious, all the things I crave!  And the almond vanilla coconut smell whafting through the house made it all even better!  While it was cooling I made a large dent in the pile of was so good I kept going back for more!  You will too if you decide to try making it! 

Vanilla Almond Granola
Makes about 14 cups of delicious granola

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups walnuts
2 cups whole almonds
1 cup golden flax seeds
2 cups large flake coconut
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp maple sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla bean powder*
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp almond extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups dried dates, halved
2 cups dried cherries

Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil, and spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 and set rack at the medium position. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and coconut, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together oil, honey, maple sugar, sea salt, almond and vanilla extracts until well combined, then pour over oat mixture and toss to coat until completely blended. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes or so until the granola is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in dates and cherries, and enjoy!

*grind extra vanilla bean pods the next time you use the seeds to make vanilla bean powder.

4 comments: said...

nice recipe!
how do i get your permission to re-post it?

Amy said...

You are welcome to re-post it as long as you give me credit for it.

Anonymous said...

This likes really good, I love snacks with a crunch

Camala - CC Recipe said...

Vanilla and Almond are so good together:) Fantastic granola recipe, thanks for sharing!