Apricot-Ginger Granola

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Oh, granola, you are like the free-form jazz of the baking world.

There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to granola.  To make it, all you really need are oats, some oil, a bit of sugar, and whatever fruit or nuts your heart desires.  It’s easy to make, full of fiber, and a healthful addition to your morning yogurt.

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I cannot wait until fresh apricots start showing up at the farmers markets.  I know I’ve got a while to wait for them, still, but I’d like to get in the spirit anyway.  Some dried apricots sound like a fine addition to any granola, if I do say so.

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Ginger?  Yes, please!  I used to hate having crystallized ginger in my granola.  I started leaving it out, but once it was gone, I really missed it.  I’m tempted to quote “Big Yellow Taxi” here, but I will resist.  Just a little bit of ginger is going in, too.

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What else, what else…  Coconut?  Why not?!  Packed with healthy fats, unsweetened coconut shavings add a bit of sweetness and texture to an otherwise grain-heavy combo.  We’ll use a bit of coconut oil, too, to help keep everything together.

That’s about it.  This granola is going to be grrrrreat!

Apricot-Ginger Granola

Adapted from The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene

Makes about 10 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup flax meal

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbs. light brown sugar

1 egg white

3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

2 Tbs. crystallized ginger, chopped

To Make the Granola:

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, wheat bran, wheat germ, flax meal, coconut, and almonds.  Gently mix to combine.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the coconut oil.  Once the coconut oil has melted, add the maple syrup and both extracts.  Allow all of the ingredients to heat for two minutes, then add the brown sugar.  Mix in the brown sugar until it has dissolved into the oil mixture.

Once the brown sugar had dissolved, drizzle the oil mixture over the oats mixture.  Gently stir with a spatula, then add the egg white.  Thoroughly mix the mixture until all of the oats are coated in the oil mixture.

Transfer the oat and oil mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Evenly spread the mixture on the baking sheet.  Bake the granola for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown.  Mix the granola every 5-10 minutes to ensure even browning.

Once the granola is golden-brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking sheet.  Once out of the oven, mix in the chopped apricots and crystallized ginger.  Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.  Granola will keep for about a month.  Enjoy!

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