cranberry orange granola

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

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats and cereal
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon, salt, orange zest, maple syrup, and orange extract
  4. Pour over cereal and stir until evenly coated (I use a rubber spatula for this and it works great!)
  5. Spread granola evenly on a large lightly greased cookie sheet, making sure it isn’t overcrowded
  6. Bake 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  7. Stir in nuts and bake another 10 minutes, stirring at least once to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  8. 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! šŸ™‚

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