Packed with nutrition and good taste, granola is the ultimate win-win combination. Eat it with milk for breakfast; sprinkle it on fruit, yogurt, or ice cream; incorporate it into crumble toppings for cobblers; crush it to make crusts for pies or cheesecakes-or just grab a handful for a healthy, energy-boosting snack. To cut the cost of homemade granola, check out the bulk sales aisles of health food supermarkets, such as Sunflower, or Wild Oats.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup natural wheat and barley cereal
1 cup sliced unblanched almonds
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup dried pitted cherries
1 cup light seedless raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, cereal, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple juice concentrate, water, butter, oil, honey, vanilla, and orange zest. Pour the juice mixture over the oat mixture and toss until all the ingredients are well combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and slightly crunchy, about 1 hour.
4. Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. When cooled, stir in the cherries and raisins. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 7 cups