NOT liking this sugar-free thing.
It’s not that I’m “craving” sugar so much – it’s just that I’m realizing how automatically I reach for a little something sweet after every meal. And now it’s not there. And there definitely feels like something’s….missing.
And please, please don’t tell me to just grab a piece of fruit. That, in time, I’ll come to appreciate its sweetness in a way I hadn’t before.
I detest fruit.
That said, I’m enjoying my actual meals more, as I’m not gauging what I eat based on what I’ll treat myself to at the end. I didn’t realize just how much I thought about dessert until it was no longer an option.
This granola recipe caught my eye practically the minute I opened the TOTALLY AWESOME Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (have you bought this book yet? Please do. It’s SO, SO good). I bookmarked it right away, and recently noticed that it is sweetened with maple syrup – one of my approved “natural” sweeteners.
I do believe this granola is even better than the “other” Smitten recipe that I love so much. I’m now on my second batch of it and am pretty sure this will be a keeper long after my sugar-free month has ended.
In only 13 more days.
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
3 c. (240 g.) oats
1 c. (50 g.) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 c. (100 g.) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. (25 g.) toasted wheat germ
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 egg white, whisked in a small bowl till frothy
1 1/2 c. (215 g.) dried cherries*
Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the egg white and dried cherries. Once the ingredients are well combined, add the egg white and stir again to evenly distribute.
Spread mixture in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet; bake for 45 -55 minutes. About halfway through, using a large spatula, turn the granola in as large sections as possible. When evenly browned remove from oven and cool granola, in pan, on a wire rack. Gently mix in cherries.
Will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container; much longer if frozen.
*Note: unsweetened dried cherries are decidedly difficult to find. I discovered these apple juice-sweetened cherries at my local Whole Foods, but feel free to use the sweetened kind if that’s all you can get your hands on (you can also substitute any other dried fruit you like).
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver