Cranberry and almond granola

I don’t do the whole Valentine’s Day thing, but here’s an idea in case you are looking for a good gift for a special someone. It’s bright, toasty, sweet and speckled with the color of love. What better than a homemade dish to show someone that you care about them, especially one that will ensure they’ll wake up thinking of you?

One of my favorite breakfast dishes is granola with yogurt. I found a wonderful recipe for granola in a Bon Appetit magazine a few years back, and I’ve tweaked it into my very own. B is nuts about this granola, as was my family when I shipped them some. I’ve never actually tried making any other type of granola, because whenever I crave it — It’s this recipe I crave.

It’s so simple to make, and it’s a great alternative to pricey packaged cereals loaded with unpronounceable ingredients. It’s really good in milk or yogurt, or just by itself. And it keeps fresh in a sealed container for about a week, so you can make it over the weekend and have it all week as you head out to work. It’s such a nice treat to have an easy, fast breakfast that also has all the loving warmth of homemade food. Recipe after the jump.

In a large bowl, mix 3 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup chopped or slivered almonds, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of nutmeg.

In a small saucepan, whisk together 4 tbsp. each of maple syrup and honey, and 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil. Warm just until the mixture blends together, and remove from heat.

Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and toss until everything is well coated. Spread this mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes to make sure it toasts evenly.

Pull it out when the oats turn golden brown and are crispy. Add 1 cup dried cranberries. Store in an air-tight container. Yields about 6 servings.

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