Cherry Walnut Granola

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!

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.

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!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.

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!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!

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!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.

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!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!

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!

Cherry Walnut Granola

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!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 302kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

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36 Comments

  1. Duuuude – I chewed on a cinnamon flavored pencil once – and UGH – I’d much rather have my cinnamon in powder form in some treat or the other! I must say, I am not usually a huge fan of store-bought granola, but the homemade kind is a whole other story – and if your’s keeps for a couple of weeks, am thinking you have some sitting around your kitchen right now…time to program my drone on a search and rescue and bring-back-to-Atlanta mission!

    1. Haha…you’ve chewed on a cinnamon pencil, too?? I definitely have a container of granola sitting upstairs in the kitchen cupboard right now, Shashi. Want to come over for breakfast and a cup of coffee? 🙂

  2. I love cinnamon, but not ‘cinnamon flavoured’ stuff like gum or candy. Gimme the real stuff, right? If the hardest part to making this is to stir every 10-15 minutes, well I’ll take it! Doesn’t seem hard and especially if I end up with this! I love granola on Greek yogurt, especially. And homemade is always better than store bought. Love that you have just a handful of ingredients in the recipe 🙂 Have a great weekend, David!

    1. Yeah, that cinnamon-flavored stuff is sometimes pretty strange, Dawn. It’s more like over-the-top spicy than cinnamon. Cinnamon is not meant to be hot! (I’m thinking stuff like Atomic Fireballs.) Yes, this is our go-to granola recipe…although I am often changing up things like the nuts and fruit. But the base is pretty much the same. Hope you have an excellent weekend, too, my Canadian friend!

  3. Cherry Walnut granola! That sounds amazing! It would be so good on just about any flavor granola or smoothie! I am a huge fresh and dried cherry fan–but I never seem to buy them at the store! It’s one of those things that when I see, I want; but I never think of out of the blue. A little strange I know! Thank you for sharing!

    1. That’s true! I don’t make smoothies too often, but I should change that. I always enjoy ’em, but I guess I just feel like it’s too much work to clean the blender. (me <-- lazy in the morning!) Give this granola a shot sometime, Amanda. It'll change your life! (Ok, that's an exaggeration...but it is delicious!)

    1. Yeah, the bark wasn’t impressive at all! As my cinnamon-partner-in-crime, I feel like it’s my duty to tell you to avoid chewing on cinnamon bark. It’s much better in ground form. Especially in granola! 🙂

  4. Hi David! This is a granola I would eat! So many of the commercially prepared ones have a funny tasting undertone. Now you have to come up with a muffin recipe using this!! 🙂

    1. Oooo…a muffin recipe using the granola? Or a muffin recipe using the same flavors? Either one sounds delicious, and I’m always up for a good muffin! 🙂

  5. Wow David you taught me something today that I didn´t know! Cinnamon is dried out bark!?! I have yet to make my own granola, I can´t tell you the amount of times I´ve said I´m going to but I never seem get around to it… 🙂 I love the dried cherries in this one!

    1. Yup, cinnamon is indeed dried tree bark! I always thought it would be fun to chew on cinnamon tree bark…until I did it. Not fun. 🙂 But, yes, make your own granola sometime, Johlene! You’ll be surprised at how good it tastes…I love eating spoonfuls of it while it’s still warm out of the oven. Delicious!

  6. I didn’t know you could grow a cinnamon tree in northern America. Otherwise, why isn’t there one in my yard right now??? This oversight will not be tolerated. I love granola, and I especially love it with yogurt. Also love a cherry-walnut combo, so you’ve hit my nail on the head with this one.

    1. I’m still not sure you can actually grow a cinnamon tree in northern America, Jeff. Perhaps if we built an indoor rain forest, then we could simulate the proper growing conditions? But our rain forest would definitely need monkeys! If you’ve never made homemade granola, then you need to give this one a shot. It’s our go-to breakfast every single weekday morning.

    1. Haha! You little trickster. I see what you did there. And yes, I have indeed tried Saigon Cinnamon. It’s amazing stuff! (You can get it other places besides Costco…although it can sometimes be a bit expensive. But then again, cinnamon is worth it, right?)

  7. Okay, cinnamon nerd. I get it now. To be honest, I had no idea that sticks were curled-up bark. I’ve been putting trees in my tea! But it’s actually pretty cool. Too bad chewing on the bark didn’t taste like much.
    Much better to use it for granola. This is definitely the way to start a day!

    1. I’m most definitely a (cinnamon) nerd. But not a cinnamon dork. I don’t want you to be confused there, Mir! And yes, if you run out of cinnamon sticks, then you could just drop a tree branch in your tea. It might not taste quite the same, though… 🙂

    1. Tell me about it! I had no idea how easy granola is to make until a couple of years ago when my friend shared her recipe. Now we make it at least 2x a month!

    1. That is so true, Fernando! We love granola on top of yogurt, but I have to be careful or I’ll just eat it all straight out of the container. Thanks so much!

  8. I believe, if pencils had a variety of flavors, people would be chewing them with a greater pleasure. Cinnamon pensils? Delicious! Cardamon flavored? Fantastic! Lavender? Count me in:) I had been making granola for Andrey for many years (like every 2-3 weeks), but last year he decided to stop eating it. Anyways, he wouldn’t have allowed me to put anything except oats, nuts, and seeds (even coconut or chocolate! Weird, right?) so this version sounds like something unusual (but super delicious). Coconut, cherries, and pencils…I mean cinnamon? Yes, please!

    1. That’s true, Ben! Why don’t they make flavored pencils? Oh wait, if they did that, then school kids everywhere would just be chewing on their pencils in class instead of paying attention to the teacher. And can you imagine the underground market for pencils at lunchtime? “I’ll trade you 2 orange pencils for your chocolate one.” Haha! And tell Andrey to start eating granola again…it’s tasty stuff!

  9. You know I am a HUGE homemade granola fan. I absolutely love making it! This recipe combined some of my favorites, cinnamon, cherries (yum) and walnuts!! I gotta try this combination with my next batch of granola!

    P.S.I really did laugh out loud when you said you chewed on that cinnamon bark and it tasted like a wooden pencil! 🙂

    1. Hey, that cinnamon really did taste like chewing a pencil…you know, like back in grade school? Yeah, not good. But this granola? Good! 🙂 Thanks so much, Tamara!

  10. Granola is the best! I make a new batch every week, but have never included cherry! This is a great flavor combo 🙂 & I don’t think I ever really thought about where cinnamon comes from – how embarrassing! Thanks for enlightening me – now I want a tree, too!

    1. There are so many other spices that I want to learn where they come from now, Megan. Call me a nerd, but I find stuff like this fascinating! Cheers to delicious homemade granola…and I hope you have an awesome weekend! 🙂

  11. Mmm, I absolutely love homemade granola! The only problem is that I find it SO addictive… like I can’t keep in the house for long ha. Also, I’m obsessed with cinnamon and put it on nearly everything: fruit, smoothies, pancakes, yogurt, you name it. We joke that my husband puts pepper on everything, and I put cinnamon on everything!

    1. I totally agree, Nicole! It’s dangerous to have that pan of granola cooling on the counter b/c I just keep walking by grabbing a little handful. But it just tastes so good when it’s warm out of the oven… 🙂 Now I think you need to find a pepper mill that is made for cinnamon. Then put some cinnamon bark in there, and you can have matching mills with your hubbie! 🙂

  12. I am used to having cinnamon in savoury dishes and when I wanted to bake some cinnamon rolls I was not sure about it , but the moment I took my first bite I was hooked ! I love granola for snacking and your granola looks so promising !

    1. So I’m totally the opposite, Ruwani. I’m used to having cinnamon in sweet dishes…cinnamon rolls are one of my all-time favorites! But cinnamon in savory dishes has been growing on me lately. Give this granola a shot sometime! It’s super tasty for breakfast (and for afternoon snacking, too)!

  13. Definitely my favorite spice and how cool would it be to have a tree. Picked up some major pieces while in India and got it through customs! I was so happy, too. I’m stocked and the flavor is super intense, although not as near as the Vietnamese kind you can get from Penzys. Wow! Love this post and the granola blend, Dried cherries don’t get used enough, probably because dried cranberries have better advertising! Pinning this one to try for sure.

    1. Haha…I wonder how many people come back through customs with big pieces of cinnamon? I know I would! And you’re totally right about dried cherries…they’re a bit harder to find than dried cranberries, but it’s fun to mix things up a bit. (We often use dried cranberries in our granola, too.) Thanks, buddy!

  14. David, Its good to see that you make every recipe awesome. Cherry walnut granola is perfect for me. And regading cinnamon, i have a bunch of it to use for my indian dishes. You need that to get the asian masala taste.

    1. I agree, Smitha! Indian dishes just aren’t the same without cinnamon. I grew up associating cinnamon with sweet dishes (desserts), so I’m still playing with the idea of including it in savory dishes, too. Either way, thank you! 🙂

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