This recipe is a little peek into my day job! I work in Financial Services at Oregon Cherry Growers, where my job is to control inventory — though inventory is extremely slippery and prone to deception, I do my best to keep the numbers true and in order. I’ve always been a numbers nerd and you can literally hear me do a “yesssssss” and a fist pump when actual usage and reported usage align and my numbers come out evenly. THAT is awesome, you guys.
Our co-op has been operating for 81 years, and we are owned by our cherry growers. As one of the largest producers of sweetened cherries in the world, you’ve probably enjoyed our maraschinos in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, our glace cherries in a fruit cake during the holidays, or — my favorite — our dark cherry halves in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Cherry Garcia is the best flavor, amiright!). I love my job, the people I work with every day and I love these flavorful wild blueberries that we dried and wanted to show them off. Look for dried wild blueberries (they’re the small ones!) in the bulk section or baking section at your grocer.
I wanted a clean, nutritious granola that didn’t have to be an indulgence in sugars and fats. I made some departures from the usual granola recipes, so you won’t find the familiar crunchy clusters of sweet goodness since there isn’t enough sugar or fat to bind those nuggets here. But I don’t miss them; the toastiness and texture of this granola stand their own in deliciousness with these chewy blueberries, crunchy nuts and vanilla notes. I love it and I think it makes a great snack or yogurt combo for breakfast. Here’s why!:: it’s packed with protein, whole grains for a healthy heart, omega-3-rich flax seeds and healthy fats from almonds and pecans, though you could substitute any nut you like best.
Further, blueberries and wheat germ are high in antioxidants, which are important for energy and muscle function, among other things. Wheat germ is also super-high in protein (a higher percentage than you’d find in most meats, [which are not yummy in granola]) and folic acid, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease; it also contains lots of fiber, potassium and phytonutrients. It is an amazing superfood! Add the flax seeds after baking the granola to preserve their nutritional benefits. A sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger make this such a tasty bowl of toasty crunch for your morning. Enjoy!
blueberry and pecan granolayields about 10 cups
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups red wheat flakes
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 3/4 cup maple syrup, raw honey, agave, brown or raw sugar or a combination
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 2 cups dried wild blueberries
Combine first five ingredients in the biggest bowl you’ve got. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
In a small pot over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, sweetener of choice, vanilla, salt and spices and warm, stirring occasionally, until well combined. Pour over oat mixture in bowl and stir very well to coat evenly.
Divide between two dry, ungreased sheet pans and spread to an even layer. Bake for 30 – 50 minutes (depending on your oven and the level of toastiness you prefer), stirring every 10 minutes and rotating pans between upper and lower racks each time. Keep a close watch, because burned granola isn’t really all that nice.
Remove granola from oven and top each pan with half the flax seeds and half the blueberries; stir. Allow to cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to six months.