Almond Cherry Granola

Today is Friday and that's weekend here in the Middle East. I participated in a 10k race this morning that started at 7am. I must admit, I find it tough to get up so early on the weekend. The good thing about such early races is that I was back home by 8.30am (!!!!) with a new Personal Best under my belt (the second in two weeks). My marathon training has definitely paid off already over the 10k.

I like to do such early races on an empty stomach, in my experience that's the best solution for me. But soon after I come back, hunger sets in, and what's better than some fragrant homemade granola.

Since I started making granola myself, I have been addicted to it and hardly had anything else in the mornings for the last few months. That is granola with some yogurt and two type fruit, usually an chopped apple and something else like a kiwi, a few strawberries, grapes, half a mango.... I love mine with lots of nuts in it as it needs to sustain me for a few hours, and I like it sweet so love to have lots of dried fruit in it too. The best thing about homemade granola is that you can play around with the nuts and dried fruit or their amounts and may easily end up with a Pistachio Vanilla Apricot Granola, but that's fine too!!!

(Print Recipe)

2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey (or agave syrup for a vegan version)
1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 150C.

In a bowl, mix oats, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almonds. Set aside.
In a small pot, heat the oil, honey and almond extract. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until all grains and seeds are well coated. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the mixture and add the coconut. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes. 
Let cool and stir in the dried fruit.

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