Lately, I’m all about finding new ways to preserve summer’s bounty. I’ve got plenty of jam stocked up for gifts and winter eating (not to say I won’t make more this year, though!), and am pro at infusing vodka. I have multiple ways of preserving tomatoes – sauce, diced, roasted and frozen – and plan to freeze plenty of berries,corn, peppers and pesto.
But this year, I want to try some new things as well. I’m finally going to make some pickles, and think I may want to freeze some peach slices in addition to canning them. I’m picking my first batch of currants tomorrow, though I’m not entirely sure how I am going to use them yet.
A few weeks ago, when I had my sudden influx of sour cherries, I decided to experiment with oven-drying them. I used The Kitchn’s method, and while the final cherries are delicious, I don’t think it is going to be financially feasible to oven-dry them again. I pitted and dried 2 pounds of sour cherries, and ended up with a mere 3/4 cup of dried cherries. That’s $10 for just a few handfuls in the end. Womp womp. At least my other experiment with sour cherries – maraschino cherries with amaretto - was a smashing success!
I’m determined to make the most of my tiny amount of dried sour cherries, though, so I made up a batch of granola. Totally worth the pricey dried cherries.
While this granola isn't necessarily "healthy," it is filled with healthy fats and complex carbs. I plan to use it as pre-ride fuel on my century training rides! It would also be excellent sprinkled over yogurt with some fruit.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup unsalted pepitas
- 3/4 cup blanched sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 sour cherries and 1/2 sweet cherries, but currants or raisins would be great as well)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 11" x 13" baking pans.
- Stir the oats, hazelnuts, pepitas, almonds and chia seeds together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is beginning to bubble at the edges.
- Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well, until all of the oats and nuts are coated. Divide the granola between the two prepared pans, spreading it into even layers.
- Bake the granola at 350F for 20 minutes, stirring the granola and rotating the pans between racks about halfway through.
- Stir in the dried fruit, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the granola is beginning to brown.
- While the granola bakes, line a few wire racks with parchment paper. Spread the cooked granola over the parchment paper to dry and cool. Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.