Friday, May 15, 2015

Making fruity granola: so simple, but oh, so delicious!!



While we love our cinnamon, maple, pumpkin, etc granola, we also really enjoy fruity granolas. They're so easy to make. In fact, it's even simpler and less hands-on time involved, than some of the hearty, autumnal granolas. You bake the granola for 15 minutes, then can walk away for the remainder of the drying time.

This time of year, I'm culling through my homemade jellies and jams. We're right up against the time of year that I begin making jelly and jam, so I'm needing to use up last year's supply.

To make a batch of fruity granola, you'll need:


  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup of any flavor of jelly or jam (this is a great way to use up that too-runny jam made last summer! I like granola to be less sweet, so I use the lesser amount.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (optional, but makes the granola sweeter, if that's what your family prefers)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional -- if I'm using the orange zest, then I skip the almond extract. The extract just boosts the flavor a bit.)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 to 2 handfuls of dried fruit, about 1 cup (I've been using dried cranberries)



  • a large jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with raised edges
  • bit of butter for buttering the baking sheet



Melt jam or jelly in a large glass bowl in the microwave, for about 30-45 seconds. Mix in additional ingredients, except the dried fruit (those go in later, so they don't scorch). Toss well until oats are all coated.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a jelly roll pan. Spread the coated oats in the prepared pan, leaving more of the oats towards the edges and corners than in the center of the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn off oven, stir oats, and leave the pan in oven, with the door closed, for 1 & 1/2  to  2 hours. The granola will continue to dry out as the oven cools. After a couple of hours, remove from the oven and stir in dried fruit. Allow to finish cooling in the pan on a rack.

The granola that I made when my step-mom was visiting was a combination of red currant jelly and blackberry syrup, with dried cranberries added at the end. She was "wowed!" to say the least, and raved over how delicious the granola was.

I've also been using up some too-runny plum jam, which is nice as it uses that jam, but also the bits of fruit are nice in the granola.

We typically serve our homemade fruity granola with our plain yogurt mixed with blackberry syrup. It's quite delicious and very suiting to the warming weather of spring.


The other day, I made the granola even more frugally. I had a whole chicken in the oven roasting at 325 degrees F in the late afternoon. I popped a pan of fruity granola into the oven just as I pulled the chicken out, so there was no preheating involved. And the granola did it's drying time while we ate dinner and cleaned up the kitchen for the evening.

18 comments:

  1. You come up with the best ideas! So glad I found your blog.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy,
      Thank you so much! If you try the granola, let me know how it turns out for you.

      Delete
  2. I usually avoid granola because I think most recipes use a lot of fat in them, but this looks like it is low in fat and high in flavor.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      I've wondered just how necessary the oil really is in homemade granola. It's possible you could try this with even less, and still be satisfied with the results.

      Delete
  3. Granola is quite expensive store bought, and your recipe of course is a frugal godsend. I have been looking on the internet for exactly this...a tweaked granola recipe. Actually it started with my looking for homemade cold cereals, and granola seems a good alternative, but my husband said he's not crazy about it. I'm betting though that he'll love your "fruity" version. Too bad I don't have homemade jellies and jams. Long ago when guava was plentiful by the mountain roadside we would pick buckets and make jelly. Today, I don't see people picking as before and with the high prices of fruits at the store I don't think we'll turn those fruits to jellies. Maybe food processed fresh apples or applesauce would substitute. But I really like your idea of a fruity version. Also good idea about leaving the granola in the oven after baking to let the residual heat do the rest. I didn't like the long low temperature baking of other recipes.

    YHF

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    Replies
    1. Hi YHF,
      If you tried this with applesauce, you may need to cook it down some, and add a little extra sugar, to get it to an apple butter consistency. Applesauce or chopped apples may have too much water content for this particular recipe. But I'm sure it can be done. I make pumpkin granola in the fall, using canned pumpkin in the liquid, so applesauce will work, you just may need to add sugar, and cook down first.

      It's hard to imagine picking guava by the side of the road. That just sounds so luxurious! I'm glad you were able to have a plentiful supply to make jelly back then.

      If you make this granola, let me know how it goes. And if you try apples in some form, I'd be interested to hear your experiences.

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    2. Good idea to cook down the applesauce, just wondering which would be better to do: puree fresh apples (straining the extra liquid with cheese cloth for apple juice?) or use an applesauce and cook down the liquid. I may try both ways and would be glad to comment about the results.

      YHF

      Delete
  4. Another clever way to use your pantry! Sounds really good. I have a few jars of plum jam I need to use and this might be the best way to use at least one of them!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anne,
      Hope you enjoy it, if you decide to give fruity granola a try!

      Delete
  5. Interesting comment about the applesauce. Since you said that you were using runny jam, I didn't think that applesauce would need to be cooked down. But then again, I like my applesauce kind of thick.

    BTW, until today, I haven't seen the last three posts on your blog. I don't know if it's just me or a general problem.

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    Replies
    1. Hi live and learn,
      I suppose it depends on just how watery the applesauce is. I think it may need to be more syrupy than watery, as runny jam is typically syrupy. But these are all guesses. I may give apple granola a try in the fall, myself.

      As for this blog -- it gives me a lot of headaches. The feed doesn't update properly on other feed readers, but fine on some. The email always works, and bloglovin' seems to work for it. I was ready to chuck blogging entirely this past week, as I really don't have time to spare to spend on trying to fix the feed problems. I tried several fixes this past week, and still no luck on getting the feeds up to date. I've tried all the blogger recommended "fixes" as well as some non-blogger ones. I'm down to not knowing what else is possible, and not wanting to spend any more time on it. I'm sorry it's been a problem for you.

      Delete
    2. Sometimes this blogging stuff is very frustrating. What should just take a few minutes, takes hours. Good luck. I hope you have smooth sailing soon.

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    3. Hope you resolve your fixes without too much agony....because your blog is such an inspiration. I can't thank you enough for the creative ideas and what you suggest and do serves as a perfect muse to my own frugal challenges.

      YHF

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    4. I second YHF about how much I enjoy and am inspired by this blog. I have found my frugal twin :) SO like when you do things , I either have done, have thought or am challenged to think every time.Thank-you:)

      YHF, I also enjoy your comments.

      Lovely, "Frugal Muse"

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    5. Thank you, Teresa. I always worry that I comment too much :-)

      YHF

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    6. Thanks, you guys! I tried a couple more things with my feed management, and hope that one of these things did the trick. As they say, time will tell.

      And, for the record, I don't think there's any such thing as too many comments, either! Comments lead to new ideas for all of us, and that's the point of this blog, right?!

      Delete
  6. hi lili,
    another good recipe. i will it try.
    have a nice weekend,
    love regina

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    Replies
    1. Hi Regina,
      I hope you enjoy it!

      Delete

I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.