Dried fruit is a pandemic staple. It lasts a long time without giving up its flavor. Searching my pantry for dried fruit to use in granola, I found a bonanza: dried mandarins, cranberries, raisins, currants, cherries, goji berries, and apricots.
I could have used one of them in the granola, but I combined them all with chopped walnuts, rolled oats and sweeteners into a delicious pandemic granola. I only had small quantities of some of the dried fruits, so I used what I had.
Nut butters, sesame seeds, nuts, spices, and rolled oats are always lingering in my pantry, so it was simple to put this granola together. I chopped a cup of mixed dried fruits, and tossed them with powdered monkfruit/erythritol, then stirred them into a bowl of rolled oats, walnuts and sesame seeds, sprinkled with a little gluten-free flour.
I used almond butter in this granola, but you could substitute any nut butter you have on hand. (This is pandemic granola, after all.) Coconut oil makes the nut butter easier to spread. You can substitute a clear oil like canola if you haven’t any coconut oil.
I spiced the granola with Vietnamese cinnamon, salt and ginger. Use regular cinnamon if you don’t have Vietnamese (Saigon) cinnamon, which is stronger than the most supermarket cinnamon. Don’t skimp on the salt, or the granola will be unbalanced and too sweet.
There’s no refined sugar in this granola (you can substitute organic sugar if you must), but it is made with coconut nectar and coconut sugar. Both sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. Use any combination of sweeteners that makes you happy. I love sweet granola, but I try to sweeten it without refined cane or beet sugar. If you don’t have coconut nectar, substitute maple syrup, another slightly healthier natural substitute for refined sugar.
Pandemic Granola with Dried Fruit and Walnuts
Dried fruits and nut butter combine with rolled oats and walnuts to make a sweet and salty granola that's great for breakfast or snacking.
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup dried fruit (dried cherries, raisins, cranberries, goji berries, apricots and mandarins, etc.), chopped
- 1/4 cup powdered monkfruit/erythritol
- 1 cup almond butter (I prefer crunchy)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
Cover a baking sheet with parchment, and set aside.
Stir the oats, walnuts, sesame seeds and almond flour together in a large bowl.
Put the chopped fruit into a smaller bowl, and toss with the powdered monkfruit/erythritol until thoroughly coated.
In a small pan over very low heat, melt the almond butter and coconut nectar.
Stir in the coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
Pour the almond butter mixture over the rolled oat mixture, and stir well until combined.
Spread the granola onto the parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, stirring halfway through, until light brown.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Chop the walnuts.
Use a cup of any dried fruits you have on hand. Here, I used dried apricots, mandarins, goji berries, cranberries, cherries and raisins.
Chop the dried fruits.
Add powdered monkfruit/erythritol to the chopped fruit.
Toss until the fruit is thoroughly coated with the sweetener.
Put the gluten-free rolled oats into a large bowl.
Add the sesame seeds…
…walnuts and almond flour, and stir to combine.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the almond butter, coconut oil and coconut nectar.
Stir in salt…
…ginger and cinnamon.
Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture, and stir thoroughly. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet, and bake at 300 degrees F for 25-35 minutes.
Serve with non-dairy milk or non-dairy yogurt.