Granola is one of those things that often masquerades as a health food, but really is just a sugar bomb.
I love it, but I try to steer clear of those that are high in calories and, especially, sugar, and I try to aim for those that are naturally sweetened.
Homemade granola most often satisfies those requirements.
My dad and I made some hard pear cider, and we had some pear and apple juice leftover. I didn’t know how I would use pear juice, but I saved it. I had bought some snack packages of freeze-dried fruit in an attempt to get the girls to eat better, but they rejected them and so I had some freeze-dried pears leftover, too. I knew they would come in handy, so I saved them for the right occasion.
I stumbled across an apple-cinnamon granola recipe that called for apple cider and thought I easily could adapt that to a pear-ginger granola recipe using the pear juice. I tweaked a few other things and ended up with a delightfully crunchy and chewy granola that is entirely naturally sweetened and clocks in at a paltry 87 calories for a 1/4 cup serving.
It’s wonderful with vanilla yogurt, but also would be delicious with a bit of milk.
Pear-Ginger Granola with Dried Cranberries
(adapted from Eat Good 4 Life)
3/4 cup pear juice
1/4 cup apple juice
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped almonds
8 tsp (2 2/3 tbsp) honey
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup freeze-dried pear slices, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the pear and apple juices and cook until it has reduced to 1/3 cup.
In the meantime, in a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, and almonds.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. When the juice has reduced to 1/3 cup, turn off the heat and add the honey, oil, and spices; whisk to combine. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss until the oats and nuts are evenly coated.
Spread the granola onto a large baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing halfway, until the granola has browned a bit.
Cool the granola to room temperature, then add the freeze-dried pears and cranberries, and toss to combine.