Every year I enjoy sharing recipes suitable for the festive season. Usually they’re for cakes, squares, cocktails or other traditional treats that tend to come to mind when one thinks of Christmas or other celebratory holiday food. I didn’t expect that this year I’d be sharing a granola recipe. Yes, granola!
I’ve had this recipe in mind for weeks now, and finally had the chance to put it all together yesterday morning. This is no ordinary granola. It’s meant to be festive and celebratory, indulgent even, and I wanted the colours of the season to shine. No wonder, then, that vibrant red pomegranate and bright green pistachios came to mind. In keeping with the exotic nature of these ingredients, there are also sesame seeds, dates for chewy sweetness and the mysterious, can’t-quite-put-a-finger-on-that-flavour tang of a touch of dried sumac. And of course, I couldn’t resist adding maple syrup for its special, sticky sweetness; it may not be exotic where I come from, but to most of the world I’m sure it is!
For the easiest meal possible on the morning of the big day, can you imagine yourself spooning up this gorgeous parfait? It’s a celebration in a glass, and just happens to be wonderfully nourishing too.
The pop of fresh pomegranate arils, the indulgent creaminess of Greek yogourt, and the satisfying crunch of pomegranate and pistachio granola … ho ho ho! I dare say that if you left a glass of this out for Santa instead of cookies, he might still be hanging about in the morning to see if he could have more for breakfast.
Not only does this granola feature large in the gift to yourself of an easy holiday breakfast, but who wouldn’t like to receive a pretty jar or bag of it, tied with a festive ribbon? I think most people would welcome a gift of homemade granola, and one with premium ingredients like pomegranate and pistachios would leave no doubt as to how special they are to you!
Pomegranate Pistachio Granola
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life.com 2016
Preheat the oven to 325℉ and line a large baking tray or two smaller trays with parchment or other heatproof liner.
- 2/3 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice, to make a reduction*
- 3 cups large flake oatmeal
- 1 cup raw shelled pistachios, left whole
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground sumac
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup large flake coconut
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (white or brown)
- 1/3 cup freeze-dried pomegranate arils
- 3/4 cup diced dates (I used Sayer dates)
*To make the pomegranate juice reduction, put 2/3 cup of unsweetened pomegranate juice into a small saucepan and simmer over medium high heat until it has reduced down to 1/3 cup. Set aside.
While the pomegranate juice is reducing, measure and set out the rest of the ingredients. Combine the oats, pistachios, salt, sumac and cinnamon in a (very) large mixing bowl. (I find that stainless steel bowls are perfect for recipes like this.) Pour the pomegranate juice reduction (it can still be hot) and the maple syrup over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to lovingly fold these liquids in until all the dry ingredients are coated with tangy, sweet goodness.
Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking pan, and put it into the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the pan three times during that period, stirring and turning the granola to help it dry evenly. Use this time to wash and dry the mixing bowl.
After the 25 minutes, scatter the coconut flakes and sesame seeds over the oat mixture. Stir well and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, stirring once during that time. This is enough time to give the coconut a golden brown burnish.
Remove the granola from the oven and carefully transfer it to the clean, dry mixing bowl. Add the pomegranate arils and dates, and stir so they get cozy with the other ingredients. Set the bowl on a cooking rack, and toss the granola periodically until it has thoroughly cooled.