Honey-Almond Granola with Orange Zest

I have a confession.

I did it.  You guys, I bought a minivan.  A beat-up old minivan, of course, because we’re just going to beat it up more and I don’t event want a minivan anyway, but there it is.  And it’s unarguably a minivan.  It has about a zillion cupholders and fits carseats galore and I am going to have to practice obsessively to be able to look cool casually spinning the wheel with one hand while I effortlessly parallel park the hulking monster.

Oh, who I am kidding, I will never look cool again.  I’ll be driving a minivan. (To be clear, YOU look cool in YOUR minivan, of course.  This is not about YOU.)

I don’t think of myself as the minivan type, obviously.  But I hear that lots of people fall in love once they have one of these large, convenient, family-friendly vehicles.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I do think of myself as the granola type.  This one is no crisp, salty maple-y Olive Oil Granola, or buttery, delicate Walnut and Currant Granola.  This one is health food.  It’s almost aggressively crunchy, barely sweetened with juice and honey, and has no oil whatsoever.  It bakes into addictive crunchy clumps that you will probably find yourself eating by the handful each time you pass the jar.  That’s ok, it’s super healthy.

I’m going to eat this granola in my Birkenstocks while I pretend that my minivan is a 1960’s VW bus.Honey-Almond Granola with Orange Zest: In a large bowl, mix 5 c. rolled oats, 1 c. roughly chopped or slivered almonds, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the zest of two organic oranges.  Pour the following wet ingredients into the bowl: 1 c. orange juice, 1/2 c. honey, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well and spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake at 300, stirring every 10 minutes, until deep golden but not-quite-brown, about 40-50 minutes.  Optional: stir in 1 c. currants or raisins as granola cools.

If you double the batch (and why not?), you will want to bake the granola on two rimmed sheet pans and switch them top-to-bottom every ten minutes as you stir.

25 thoughts on “Honey-Almond Granola with Orange Zest

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I love anything with orange zest. I recently got a new zester that grates it a little more coarsely than my old microplane and I love it. It’s just a little more bitter and a lot more flavorful!

  1. Sarah

    That sounds absolutely fabulous! I’ve been into the oatmeal lately – granola, granola bars, cooked oatmeal, oatmeal sandwich bread…gotta love oats!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Yes to oats! We buy them in 25 lb. bags because we go through them so fast. I am in search of a good granola bar–do you have a recipe you like?

      1. emmycooks Post author

        I get 25 lb. bags of organic oats at my co-op, but I bet you can get them from anywhere that sells oats in bulk, or have them special-order them for you. Buying the big bag gives me a 10% discount at my store–but more importantly, I don’t have to keep running back there when we run out. :)

      2. Sarah

        Perfect timing! I just came up with a chewy granola bar recipe that I am posting tomorrow, if all goes as planned.

  2. Beth @ duffiebyday

    I had to send this post to my best friend.She has a mini van which she refers to as her ‘chariot’ and feels exactly as you do about the cool factor. But she has embraced the mom-mini van relationship and I think she does look cool. And I am sure you do too…. And even if not, I am sure your kids think you are the coolest.

  3. duffiebyday

    As soon as I read this post, I had to send it to my best friend. She has a mini van which she refers to as her ‘chariot’ and feels exactly as you do about the cool factor. She has however embraced the mini van for now and I think she does look cool. And I am sure you do too. And even if that doesn’t reassure you, I am sure your kids still think you are the coolest.

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Awesome! Can you ask your friend if I can call mine The Chariot too? Renaming it is probably a good strategy for enjoying it more. :)

  4. Eileen

    Minivan! It’s all good–I learned to drive in one, and looked especially cool borrowing it and cruising around with my friends at age16. :) I love the idea of adding orange zest to granola!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      BRILLIANT! I suddenly feel great about having a minivan. It will be so safe for my kids to drive in when they turn 16! :) (I also love orange zest in…anything.)

  5. baconbiscuit212

    Awww! I remember when my brothers were in middle school and I was in high school. Suddenly my parents had to haul three kids, band instruments, backpacks, science projects, AND groceries AND other people’s kids (carpool) AND themselves.

    They caved and got a used minivan too. They held out for a looooong time!

    And they felt really uncool for days. But it will pass :-)

    You should get a big soccer decal. Ironically, of course ;-)

    And granola looks amazing!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I have to say that I was pretty thrilled to be able to pile the stroller, the bikes, a scooter, and four carseats into the car without breaking a sweat. I don’t know if I’m ready for the ironic soccer decal yet. I might have to work may up to that. (Although by then, who knows, I might have an un-ironic soccer decal, I don’t know what having a minivan might do to me.)

      1. baconbiscuit212

        If you get an soccer decal, get some mom jeans! Take a picture! It will be so funny!

        And even if it gets to the point where you unironically get a soccer ball decal, I’m sure that you will never lose that split second, “What is that doing there?!” reaction :-)

      2. emmycooks Post author

        Ok, I have thought about this and become confident that I will never un-ironically have a soccer ball decal on my minivan. I feel a little better about things now. Thank you for helping me work through that. :)

  6. Sonya

    I’ve been making olive oil maple granola addictively, but the prospect of no oil is very inviting. Will try this weekend. I drive a giant SUV, we only pretend it’s ok b/c it’s a hybrid, but it is like steering a cruise ship.

    Do you ever toss in flax seeds or wheat germ to make your granola even healthier? Recommendations?

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Oh, Sonya, it makes me feel better to know that you drive a cruise ship too! :) Yes, I often use wheat germ and/or (ground) flax seeds. I like to use them in recipes where the granola clumps well so it doesn’t all just fall to the bottom of the jar, and I wasn’t sure about this recipe because I was making it for the first time. Turns out it holds together beautifully, so I might try this next time with apple juice, raisins, and wheat germ. (Before that, though, I think J will probably want another batch of the dessert-y olive oil one for Fathers Day.) This is another variation I always add wheat germ to: http://emmycooks.com/2012/01/07/cherry-almond-granola-for-breakfast/ (of course you can use any fruit and nuts). xoxo to you all!


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