Fruit & Almond Granola + Cookbook Giveaway

I love granola for much of the same reason that I have always loved granola bars – it’s hearty, sweet, and usually full of all kinds of great nuts and fruit. For a long time I bought granola at the store and stirred it into yogurt or would eat it by the handful as a snack. And then I discovered the joy that is homemade granola. I started making it out of necessity a few years ago when I was hampered by a nut allergy, which I had somehow grown into, and have since grown out of. Although I can eat nuts again, I have stuck to making it at home and believe I have finally put together a super-duper awesome recipe. It’s lightly sweetened, spiced, crunchy and full of almonds and dried fruit. And best of all – you can totally customize it with your favorite nuts and fruit!

I created this specific version of the granola for a cookbook project put together by Posit Science, called the Thinkfood Cookbook. Fifty food bloggers contributed recipes that included brain-healthy ingredients in every imaginable category including breakfast, salads, main dishes, snacks, desserts, and more. I have already made a few recipes from the book and everything has been fabulous! I thought that this healthy, homemade adaptation to an oft store-bought item made it a fantastic recipe to share, especially since it is packed with oats and nuts.

Each week a different blogger and their recipe is featured on Thinkfood’s site and Facebook page, as well as in their email newsletter. For a list of the participating bloggers and their recipes, check out the Thinkfood Cookbook site.

As a contributor to the project, I was given an extra cookbook to give away to a lucky reader! Details below on how to enter to win…

How to Enter

To enter to win a copy of the Thinkfood Cookbook, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post:

“What is your favorite breakfast food?”

You can receive up to four additional entries to win by doing the following:

1. Subscribe to Brown Eyed Baker by either RSS or email. Come back and let me know you’ve subscribed in an additional comment.

2. Follow @browneyedbaker on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional comment.

3. Tweet the following about the giveaway: “RT @browneyedbaker: Cookbook Giveaway! Enter to win a copy of the Thinkfood Cookbook: http://bit.ly/hOksLG”. Come back and let me know you’ve Tweeted in an additional comment.

4. Become a fan of Brown Eyed Baker on Facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment.

Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. (I know this is a long window, but I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and won’t be back until April 5th so I wouldn’t be able to ship it until then anyway!)

Winner: The winner will be chosen at random and emailed. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, another winner will be selected.

Disclaimer: The cookbook is provided by Posit Science. (And if you aren’t the lucky winner and would like to order a copy of the cookbook, you can do so here.)

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to commenter #354, Lisa! Her favorite breakfast food?

“I looove egg-white omelets with ham, cheddar, bell pepper, and onion! I usually only have time for cereal though ;]”

One year ago: Super Mario Brothers Birthday Cake

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Fruit & Almond Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

5½ cups traditional rolled oats (not quick oats)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup applesauce (I use natural/unsweetened)

¼ cup honey

1½ cups chopped or slivered almonds

¾ cup dried cranberries

¾ cup chopped dried apricots


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.


2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cinnamon, ginger and salt.


3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, applesauce and honey until thoroughly combined.


4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, until all of the oats are moistened. Spread on the prepared pan in an even layer.


5. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the granola over very carefully using a wide spatula (you'll probably need to do this in sections). Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.


6. Cool completely on the baking sheet.


7. Break up the granola into chunks and stir in the almonds, dried cranberries and apricots. Store in an airtight container.


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