Author Notes: I bring my lunch to work every single day, so I'm chock-full of recipes for good weekday lunch dishes. But snacks often get overlooked. Sitting at a desk all day, I often have the urge to nosh, and rice crackers from TJs get old pretty quickly. I developed this granola as a breakfast staple, but I almost always have a gallon-size plastic bag of the stuff on hand in my desk drawer. The tahini -- a twist on my usual almond-butter recipe -- infuses the granola with a toasty flavor that's perfect for fall. The added cinnamon and cloves amp up the warmth, and the crystallized ginger is the icing on the cake. Walnut oil helps balance out the pronounced flavor of the sesame, but if you don't have it, don't worry about it. The granola is great alone, even better mixed into yogurt. - Rivka
Serves enough for a week's worth of breakfast and snacks
- 2 1/2 cups oats
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional
- 2/3 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds) -- they sell them in bulk at whole foods
- 2/3 cups sliced almonds
- 2/3 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 2/3 cups dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons chopped crystalized ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl or a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, tahini, walnut oil if using, salt, and cinnamon. Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds, or on stovetop for about 1 minute, just until liquids soften and are easily mixed. Stir until fully combined.
- In a large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients except cherries until well-distributed. Drizzle the syrup-tahini mixture over dry ingredients, stirring with a fork until all dry bits are at least slightly wet and clumps have started to form.
- Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet in a thin layer and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, and use fork or spatula to move pieces from edge to center and from top to bottom. Make sure pieces that have started to brown are in the center and well-surrounded. Return to oven and bake 10-12 more minutes, until golden brown throughout. As soon as granola is out of the oven, add cherries and incorporate. The warmth of the granola will soften the cherries.
- Note: granola will not be crunchy when it leaves the oven; don’t worry — it’ll crisp up as it cools. Once cool, transfer to air-tight container; granola will keep this way for up to 1 month.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch