Fine and Healthy Granola

This recipe is courtesy of my sweet friend Rosalva Parada, who has done all sorts of fascinating research on ancient Roman foods, knows everything imaginable about perfumery and is a yogi extraordinaire. Here’s what she says about her granola, “This infinitely customizable recipe for granola really allows the integrity of the ingredients to shine through. It uses fruit purée in place of heavy oils and fats to keep the granola crunchy, light, flavorful and sweetened just enough and with thoughtful ingredients. Use your favorite ingredients to create a medley that really appeals to you and showcases good ingredients.”

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, rye, multi-grain flakes or a combination
3 cups almonds, walnuts, pecans or any combination of nut coarsely chopped
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce or another unsweetened fruit purée
½ cup maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300º F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In a small saucepan, warm the fruit purée with the syrup, honey and oil until heated through. Mix the purée mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly dispersed, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring about every ten minutes to the steam escape, until the granola is toasty, golden in color, and feels dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, stirring to allow to dry evenly. Store the granola in a large, airtight container. It will keep for up to one month.

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