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Monday, February 22, 2021

Truly Scrumptious (“as a Cherry Peach Parfait") Fruity Granola

Hello, friends!

After a week of switching direction, I'm back to the blog. I spent a lot of time working in the kitchen. We're at the end of a 3-week grocery shopping cycle, so I had a lot of near overripe produce to deal with. I also just needed to give the fridge a good clean out.

In looking through my home-canned goods, I discovered that we have a lot of jam and jelly from last summer. While our garden-grown, fresh fruit is yet months away, I thought now would be a good time to begin using some of these fruity preserves.

I thought I'd share one item I made and has been particularly appreciated -- fruity granola. I use either jam or jelly plus some dried fruit to add sweetness and fruit flavor. In addition, I added nuts and seeds to this batch (read below to see what I was trying to duplicate). This granola is also tasty as a fruity-only cereal. With the nuts, it makes a great out-of-hand snack as well as a dry cereal. 


Fruity Granola

3/4 cup of jam or jelly
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups oats
1 cup of dried fruit -- any combination of cranberries, apricots diced, cherries, golden raisins, or sweetened dried rhubarb dices

optional -- 3/4 cup of chopped almonds/hazelnuts (one or mixture of both), toasted
optional -- 2 to 3 tablespoons, total, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or pumpkin seeds

Butter a large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with raised edges. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large microwavable bowl or casserole, microwave the the jelly or jam for about 30 to 45 seconds, until melted. Stir in the honey, oil or melted butter, almond extract, salt and orange zest. Toss with the oats and spread the mixture in the buttered jelly roll pan, pushing more of the coated oats to the edges of the pan and less in the center (for even baking).

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Turn off the oven. Stir the granola then leave in the cooling oven for 1  1/2 hour. After 1 1/2 hours, stir in dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Put back into the cooling oven for another 30 minutes to thoroughly dry.

If the granola does not have a crunchy texture, remove from the oven, preheat oven to 200 degrees F, turn the oven off, and place the tray back into the again cooling oven for 30 additional minutes. You don't want to bake the granola again, as the fruit will scorch. But it does work to put the granola into a cooling oven.

Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.

There's a bakery on a nearby island in the Puget Sound, Blackbird Bakery. They're well-known in my area, especially for their pies, whole grain breads, and granola. The granola is loaded with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and is lighter on the oats than most granolas. I first heard of Blackbird Bakery on the blog One Hundred Dollars a Month. The blog's author, Mavis Butterfield, posted about her experience there. Mavis used to live in the Puget Sound area but has since moved away. 

This Christmas, my brother and his wife sent us a large bag of Blackbird Bakery's granola. I recognized at once the bakery's name and unique raven logo on the packaging. This granola received a huge thumbs up from all of us. I'm usually only a so-so granola fan. But this stuff was very good. 

Fast-forward to this last week when I made a batch of my fruity granola enhanced with a bunch of nuts and seeds. My family thought this homemade granola was a close comparison to Blackbird's. 

What I used (listed as greatest to least): oats, toasted chopped almonds, crabapple jelly, dried sweetened cranberries, sliced dried apricots, honey, sesame seeds, flax seeds, vegetable oil, orange zest, almond extract, and salt.

For comparison, the ingredients' label on Blackbird's granola lists oats, hazelnuts, almonds, maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, honey, coconut, dried apricots, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, and unsalted butter.

As you can see, my fruity granola and Blackbird's have many ingredients in common. Mine was just a tad fruitier.

Truly scrumptious, just like the song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


  1. Every time I see a recipe for granola on someone's blog, I think I'm going to make it including now. We'll see if I follow through this time. I am interested in this recipe because it uses up jelly or jam. We have several jars that we've gotten as gifts, but we just don't eat that much. Also, my son bought a big box of oats from Costco, so we have plenty of those. He eats them almost every day, but there are still a lot.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      One of the things that I like about making my own granola is that you don't have to stick to the recipe like you would if you were baking something. Substitutions and omissions work. So, if you don't have almond extract or orange zest, fruity granola will still turn out good. If you don't have honey, you can substitute granulated sugar or brown sugar.

      As for those jars of gifted jam and jelly, we also use jam/jelly in place of syrup for pancakes and waffles, or as filling between 2 layers of cake along with whipped cream or custard (I think it's called Victorian Sandwich), or for making jam cookies, or for a dressing on fruit salad when mixed with mayo. Our family doesn't eat as much jam or jelly any more either, now that the kids are grown. But I still have a bunch of fruit trees that produce for us. So I continue with making both jam and jelly.

      Good luck to you!

    2. I did make the granola and it turned out well. I used orange-cranberry marmalade and some orange-cranberry jelly (that interesting enough had an ingredient list of wine, sugar, and pectin) along with raisins and dried pears from our tree last summer and almonds. I left out the almond extract because I don't like it, but the flavor didn't suffer. My son liked it better than other granola he's had because it wasn't as sweet. And as Kris said, it's not as fatty as some granola. I liked the crunch.

    3. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'm glad your granola turned out well. And thank you to you -- you gave me an idea for using the last of a can of cranberry sauce and a half jar of orange marmalade that has been lingering in the fridge!
      Your granola sound very fancy!! Wine, dried pears and all. Yum! You know, if you find yourself with more of the fancy jelly/marmalade and dried fruit, next Christmas, you could make gourmet granola as gifts. Just a suggestion.

  2. Now I'll have the Truly Scrumptious song going through my head all day long. :)

    One of the things that tends to turn me off from making granola is the high level of fat in the recipes, but this looks like a reasonable amount. However, we go through jams and jellies quickly--hubby and kids love it. Your recipe does sound tasty! I may have to buy some jam .... ! BTW, I made your latest bread recipe again last night. I have a friend who loves to bake and we used to do "baking days" but stopped last year ..... if we decide to do one again, I want to use your bread for one of our projects. So simple and so yummy.

    1. Hi Kris,
      the song has been in my head for a few days!
      You know, I'm not sure why some of the earlier recipes for granola had so much extra fat in them. Some recipes call for 1/2 cup of oil for 5 cups of oats. That just sounds like a lot of oil, and I'm not sure what that amount will do for the granola.

      I'm so glad you like that bread recipe. It's great for practically last-minute yeast bread with little hands-on work.
      Have a great afternoon and evening, Kris!


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