Just the other day, Aunt Teresa sent me a recipe for muffins and I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite flavor combinations.
Yes..cranberry orange. You encounter combinations like salty + sweet, peanut butter + chocolate, or mint + chocolate almost every day, but cranberry orange doesn’t seem as common. That’s quite sad though, because it is seriously one of my favorite things. If there is ever a choice of cranberry orange anything, I’ll take it!
While I certainly plan on making those muffins soon, another idea came into my head almost immediately after reading the recipe. Cranberry orange granola!! I was planning on making a big batch of my favorite pumpkin spice granola this weekend, so I had granola on the brain.
I looked over the muffin recipe and my granola recipe and came up with a rough game plan. Then, after hitting up the grocery store for a few necessary ingredients, I got to work! I made a few adjustments to my original recipe here and there as I went along and I think I came out successful!
Cranberry Orange Granola
1 1/2 c. rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
1 1/2 c. brown rice cereal
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. orange extract
3/4 c. chopped nuts (I used pecans + almonds)
1/2 c. craisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- In a large bowl, combine oats and cereal
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon, salt, orange zest, maple syrup, and orange extract
- Pour over cereal and stir until evenly coated (I use a rubber spatula for this and it works great!)
- Spread granola evenly on a large lightly greased cookie sheet, making sure it isn’t overcrowded
- Bake 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Stir in nuts and bake another 10 minutes, stirring at least once to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from oven, toss with craisins. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
This granola has the classic combination of sweet, tangy cranberries and a hint of orange, along with the crunch of toasted pecans + almonds and granola clusters. I think it’ll be great to top off a nice bowl of yogurt, sprinkled on oatmeal, or eaten straight out of the container! 🙂