Granola with No Added Sugar or Oil*
10 c rolled oats**
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 c water
½ – 1 tsp salt
1 cup tart, dried cherries
2 c pitted dates, chopped coarsely
1 c flaked coconut (no sugar added if you want healthiest)
2 c chopped pecans
1 c chia seeds (optional)
Heat oven to 275°
In saucepan, place ground pepper, water, salt, and chopped dates. Over medium heat, cook all and stire often until the dates are syrupy and thick and have formed a gooey mixture. Turn off heat and let cool in pan or, for quicker cooling, remove mixture from the warm pot.
Using a large bowl, combine oats coconut, pecans, cherries, and chia seeds.
When syrup mixture is cool enough to handle, add to the dry mixture and mix with hands until all is well blended. Place in two large trays with sides so that mixture is not more than 1/2” high for best baking. Bake for 30 – 60 minutes until dry, not overly brown. Check edges of trays every 15 minutes and move into center with a spatula to even out baking.
* Let’s clarify a myth and misnomer. All fruit has sugar in it! And nuts have fat in them in the form of oil. That said, you are getting unprocessed, completely natural sweeteners and healthy oils from the sources. There is nothing processed about our sugars or our oils but both fat and sugar do exist in making this granola taste wonderful.
** Recipe can be cut in half
Another option if you like honey and more sweet http://allrecipes.com/recipe/honey-nut-granola/