Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
These are the oats I like to use. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure to get certified gluten free oats.
Zest the two oranges that you will juice next. Set the zest aside.
Squeeze out 1/2 cup OJ. Strain out the seeds and pulp. Set aside. I use a Cara Cara orange because it's sweeter. Avoid sour tasting oranges. Freshly squeezed is important for flavor and nutrition!
Melt 1/3 cup unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat. Turn off heat once butter is completely melted.
Keep sauce pan on the stove and pour in the freshly squeezed orange juice.
Pour in 1/4 cup maple syrup. Not pancake syrup, but pure maple syrup! Use grade B. Give the sauce pan a few good swirls to mix well. There is less sugar content in the sap used to produce Grade B.
While the butter is melting, measure out 4 cups of oats and add them to a large mixing bowl.
Add in 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Add the zest from the oranges to the oat mixture.
Mix well. Really well.
Pour 3/4 of the butter mixture over the granola and mix well. You want all of the granola to be coated with the butter mixture.
Spread the granola out in a thin layer on the baking sheets. The 12-second video shows how thinly I spread it.
Bake for a total of 20-35 minutes. BUT you will need to stir the granola EVERY 8-10 minutes. This is critical. Rotate the baking sheets too. The total time really depends on your oven.
Meanwhile, add 1 cup almonds in a small mixing bowl. Use more or less almonds per your taste. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the almonds and mix well. You want all of the almonds to be coated.
In another baking dish, evenly layer the almonds and bake for a total of 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes. You want the almonds nicely toasted and dry. Nuts burn quickly so don't forget about them!
Pull out the granola after 8-10 minutes and stir it. You can already see the change in color and texture of the granola after 8-10 minutes of baking.
You can hear the granola starting to become crunchy. Even out the granola on baking sheets and put back in the oven to bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Keep an eye on the granola or this WILL happen!
This is the final result. You will see that it's nicely browned and crunchy. Resist eating by the handful. Let it cool completely for at least 30 minutes.
Add the cranberries and glazed almonds to the cooled granola. This is your granola- add more or less as you like. Mix well.
Mix the granola, almonds and dried cherries together for even distribution. I put everything back into the large mixing bowl (after wiping it down).
Store the granola in an airtight container. It should last a couple of weeks before becoming stale.
My absolute favorite way to eat granola is with Greek yogurt and seasonal fruit.
Checkout my blog www.clubdinein.com for more recipes and health tips. @clubdinein