The fridge is still stuffed with leftovers, but after turkey and dressing, chicken and dressing, casseroles, pies and premature Christmas cookies, it’s time for a little Thanksgiving Detox. Especially before the sausage balls start rolling in.
Tonight, I’m having this Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola for dinner. The perfect balance of crunchy and chewy, with toasted oats, wheat bran, pecans, dried apples, dried cranberries, chopped dates and crystallized ginger all flavored with maple syrup and vanilla and almond extracts. The entire six-cup recipe has only two tablespoons of canola oil – the same amount you’d get as a “contact fat” just sniffing the fried onions on top of the green bean casserole.
I used the dried fruits and nuts left from my Tuesdays with Dorie experiments, so feel free to use what you have on hand. This granola will keep in an airtight container for up to a month.
Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola
Adapted from Bob Greene’s “The Best Life Diet”
Makes 24 1/4-cup servings
- 4 cups regular rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped dried pears or apples
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine the oats and bran on a large baking sheet.
- In a small pan over medium heat, stir in the canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract. When the mixture begins to bubble, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Add the almonds and stir the mixture thoroughly. Continue to bake until the oats and almonds are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes more, stirring again halfway through.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Bake until the oats are crisp, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the oven, and stir the mixture. Let the granola cool for 5 minutes, the stir again.
Storage: When the granola is completely cool, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.