I have never loved granola more than when I started making it myself. And when I say love, I mean that I eat through it more quickly than necessary. Probably why I never bought it before, was because there was so much sugary-goodness in it to make me see sugar stars. Here is my no-refined sugar Cherry Pistachio Granola Chunks that is vegan and gluten-free.
My all-time fave dried fruit is cherries. Maybe it is because they are close to my first fave fresh fruit, but really I think it is because they are sweetened and dried and just taste oh-so good. However – they are dang expensive! Like $8 for an 8oz bag or $9.99 a pound in bulk at Whole Foods! Outrageous! When I do buy them, I have to hide them from myself (usually in the freezer) so I won’t scarf them down and then be disappointed that I can’t make something awesome with them.
I decided that I wanted granola bars – which is still elusive to me, and the reason I named these granola chunks, instead of bars. Because they broke apart into biggish chunks but not big enough for a bar. But oh man did they taste good. Not a lot of sweetness because I didn’t use real sugar, but the cherries brought it through perfectly. The added crunch of they yummy pistachios. Oh man. Good. After the granola was done baking I separated it into three ziplock baggies. One I took to my SIL (my youngest nephew scarfed it!), one to eat, and one for the freezer. Perfect.
2 C Oats
1/4 C Bobs Red Mill Flax Meal
1 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1/8 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cardamom
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 C Shelled Pistachios
1 Pkg Dried Cherries, chopped
1/4 C Maple Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Vanilla Paste
1. Set oven to 300 degrees
2. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet.
3. In large bowl add all dry ingredients, cherries, and pistachios, mix well.
4. Add syrup and vanilla extract and paste and mix until all dry ingredients are wet.
5. Pour granola mixture onto parchment paper and press out and flat with fingers.
6. Bake for 20 minutes on top rack.
7. Take out granola and with a fork break it up a little.
8. Let bake about 10 more minutes.
9. Let cool and break up.