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>Honey & Cinnamon Pear Granola


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Since I skipped the market this past Saturday for one last weekend at the beach, I decided to write about a treat I made from a previous pick-up. Knowing I have a tendency to let healthy eating go out the window when I visit the beach with friends, I wanted to make a healthy, crunchy snack that was portable and easy to share. Granola sounded perfect… sweet and crunchy but made with healthy oats, nuts and dried fruits. The binder is where the market item comes in, I used Alfredo’s Beehive whipped honey stirred into a delicious pear jam made by one of my parent’s friends – it smells like Christmas in a jar. Back to the honey though, I am sure you’ve seen the honey cart parked smack in the middle of the market with a beehive display and a kind man passing out samples. Be warned, if you sample you will buy! The honey is smooth, perfectly sweet and there are a few options to choose from.  As I mentioned before I choose the whipped option because the consistency is a little fluffier and I like the way it melts when it hits my mouth. Aside from eating it all by it’s lonesome, I’ve been baking away with it all summer (see the whole wheat muffins mix from a previous post) and it seemed like a perfect fit for a healthy granola.  Here’s what I did to achieve the right mix:
3 cups oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup chopped dried dates
1 cup golden raisins
4 tbsp whipped honey
3 tbsp pear jam (made with cinnamon)
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° and start by combining the oats, almonds and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl. I like to rough chop the almonds and here’s a tip, spread them in a thin layer on your chopping board rather than a pile and keep your knife tip on the down while running through the nuts. It’ll keep your kitchen free of little almond missiles. Next, over low heat, combine the honey, jam and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to mixing bowl and stir until oats are coated thoroughly.
In a non-stick jelly roll pan (at least 9″x13″), spread the mixture into a thin layer and bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until oats are golden brown. Will still warm, sprinkle salt and cinnamon over the mixture. It will crisp as it cools down and when it is back to room temperature, add in chopped fruit. It will keep for weeks in an air tight container in the pantry. Enjoy and check out Alfredo’s Beehive next time you’re at SOTJ!

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