Cranberry Almond Pistachio Granola

I am long overdue in posting this but my good intentions were sidetracked by Christmas so…better late than never!  For the past few years I’ve been making food gifts for some of my work colleagues.  Usually it’s been spiced Georgia pecans but this year I decided to try my hand at ….(drum roll please…..)
Cranberry Pistachio Almond Granola
-4 cups fresh cranberries (rinsed)
-1 TBSP granulated sugar
-2 tsp cinnamon
-4 cups old-fashioned oats (I used Laura Lynn (store brand) don’t use quick cooking and definitely not instant!)
-1 cup sliced almonds
-1 cup raw pistachios
-3TBSP coconut oil ( this just gives a nice flavor but you could also use canola)
-1/3 c. Splenda/Brown Sugar blend ( I used our store brand, Laura Lynn)
-1/3 c. 100% Maple Syrup ( I used our store brand, Laura Lynn)
-2 tsps. cinnamon
-1 TBSP vanilla

I took the ingredients and the finished granola to WSPA-Your Carolina and Megan loved it!

I really like using fresh cranberries in this as the tartness really gives the granola some dimension.  I know that fresh cranberries might not be available all year long at your store but if they aren’t you could use frozen.  You could also use the dried cranberries but that would pretty much mean you’d need to change the order of the recipe around a fair amount and cut down on the sugar so you’re on your own if you decide to do that.
Step 1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spread cranberries out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the granulated sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.  Let this cook until cranberries are soft – about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.
Step 2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, almonds and  pistachios and then transfer to the baking sheet and incorporate with the cranberries.  Spread this out so it is an even layer than is not more than about 1/2 inch thick.  (If the mixture is too thick it will become cake-y.) If necessary use a 2nd baking sheet.

This is how the granola looks when you’ve stirred the nuts and oats into the cranberries.

Step 3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil and then add in the Splenda/Brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.  Drizzle this over top of the oat/nut/cranberry mixture.

This is what the granola looks like when it’s done.  It should have a nice golden color.  I made another batch with more pistachios so it had more green.

Step 4.  Turn temperature down to 285 degrees. Put baking sheet(s) in oven.  About every 10-15 minutes stir the mixture.  Continue baking until oats are golden brown and slightly crunchy – approximately 30-45 minutes.   You can adjust sweetness by adding additional maple syrup or sugar.
If it seems to dry melt some additional coconut oil and drizzle over top while baking.
Step 5. Remove from oven and let cool.  Transfer to gift bags or jars.

Here’s the granola in a jar. You could give this as a gift or use it to store your granola at home.
 My only regret was that I didn’t make a lot extra to keep for myself! It was really delicious with plain Greek yogurt…..

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