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The coming of spring is one of those times of year when I get jazzed to work out and eat clean.  I even went for a run the other day — my first in months, and considering my sinuses still aren’t totally clear from the bug I had a while back, I was happy to have managed a mile and a half.

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After a workout, I love clean, easy snacks.  I used to eat a lot of bananas, but the bananas here lately have been turning black the day after I bring them home from the store — at which point, their only utility is to become banana bread, the likes of which defeat the purpose of buying bananas in the first place.  So instead, I’m turning to yogurt and granola.

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And as it turns out, granola is ridiculously easy to make!  It’s also ridiculously fun and creative — oats are like a blank canvas that you can dress with all the spices, fruits, nuts, and chocolate you desire.

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For my granola, I decided to polish off my remaining grapefruit to make way for the spring produce I intend to pick up on opening day of the Boise Farmer’s Market this weekend.  I used both the juice and zest of the grapefruit to give the granola a strong, unmistakable grapefruit flavor.  I also added cardamom for an astringent, aromatic flavor that enhances the grapefruit.  Almonds add texture without introducing much bitterness.  This granola turns out golden brown and crisp, with a bright pungency.

And while I’d love to experiment with the blank canvas of granola, this recipe is just so darn good that I don’t know I’ll ever bother trying anything else.

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Grapefruit and Cardamom Granola

Makes about 3 C granola | Cook time 30 mins (20 inactive)

Ingredients

  • 3 C rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F and prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment or foil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cardamom, salt, and grapefruit zest, and mix well.  Add honey, olive oil, and grapefruit juice, and stir until all oats are evenly coated with liquid ingredients.
  3. Spread granola evenly in a thin layer on the baking sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Add almonds and stir them in for the last 5 minutes of baking.
  4. Once granola is removed from the oven keep it on the baking sheets so it will continue to cook and crisp as it cools.  Keep stirring approximately every 3-5 minutes to prevent uneven cooking.
  5. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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