Weekdays always begin with a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with homemade granola.
This Cherry Walnut Granola is a tasty way to get your day started!
A while back, I talked about my goal of growing a cinnamon tree in my backyard. Although an entire year has passed and I still don’t have a cinnamon tree in my yard, I am a little closer to my goal. You see, my sister went down to the Dominican Republic a few months back, and she sent me a little care package. I’m addicted to cinnamon (probably because cinnamon often accompanies tasty breakfasts/desserts), and my sister was nice enough to send me some cinnamon. But not just any cinnamon. Actual cinnamon bark.
The ground cinnamon in your pantry is actually ground up tree bark. There are several different varieties of cinnamon trees, and the bark of young trees is laid out in the sun to dry. As it dries, it curls up into the familiar rolls that we know as cinnamon sticks. Then those sticks are finely ground to create the ground cinnamon that sits in your spice cabinet.
So while my quest for growing a cinnamon tree in my backyard continues, I at least have a package of cinnamon bark in my cabinet now. In case you’re wondering, I did chew a little piece of that bark. It is oddly reminiscent of chewing on a wooden pencil. A wooden pencil with a mild cinnamon flavor. Let’s just say that was a one-time experiment. I much prefer using ground cinnamon in recipes or dropping cinnamon sticks into mulled wine during the holidays.
There are hundreds of recipe posts out here on Spiced, but this is the very first granola post. Why is this strange? Because we eat granola almost every single weekday morning. Several years ago, a good friend shared her granola recipe with us…and we’ve been making it ever since. I’d guess I’ve made that recipe (or some variation of it) a couple dozen times. And somehow I’ve never posted the recipe. I should have posted it because (1) it’s delicious and (2) I wouldn’t have to go hunting for the recipe card each time.
Granola is a staple in our house, and this Cherry Walnut Granola won’t disappoint! Every weekday morning, I eat a small bowl of Cabot’s Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt topped with a couple spoonfuls of granola. Now I know making your own granola might sound difficult. But here’s a secret: it’s not. It’s actually very easy. In fact, whenever we are out of granola, I just make another batch while I’m making dinner. The hardest part of making homemade granola is just stirring it every 10-15 minutes…and that’s not very hard at all!
I have so many fun granola flavor combinations bouncing around in my head. But we’ll start with the Cherry Walnut Granola. I used my go-to granola base, and then added in some dried cherries and chopped walnuts. We also toss in a generous amount of flaxseeds for a fiber boost, but that is totally optional. (It’s a sneaky and easy way to boost fiber in your diet!) Oh, and of course there’s a bit of cinnamon in there (the ground variety, not the bark variety). The result is golden brown oats tossed with crunchy walnuts and chewy dried cherries.
Oh, and granola will easily keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container. I’d guess we make a fresh batch about every 2 weeks-ish. The granola does taste better when it’s fresh, but even the last few spoonfuls in the container are still quite tasty. I hope this homemade granola is as popular in your house as it is in ours! Enjoy!
Cherry Walnut Granola
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup flax seeds optional
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a large bowl, add all ingredients except for dried cherries (oats, coconut, flax seeds, brown sugar, olive oil, maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon); stir until well combined.
- Spread mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 300° for 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Add walnuts and dried cherries; stir and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Let granola cool completely before storing in an airtight container.