Granola with Dried Cherries




I realize it’s far from cherry season, but in the midst of the cleaning-out-the-freezer and coming across frozen cherries from my parents’ tree, I thought I’d do something with them that would make me think of spring.


Along with apple trees, my parents have some cherries that bloom beautifully in May. What the birds don’t eat gets picked and pitted later that summer. I do wish I had a picture of the laborious task of pitting cherries, but alas, there wasn’t one to be found. Pitting cherries is a multi-hour affair that consists of using a bobby-pin to squeeze out the large pit, only to have most of the sticky juice squeeze everywhere when trying to extract it. This is an outside-only job, and aprons are a must. Saying pitting cherries is a messy task is an understatement.

These are tart cherries, not sweet ones, and I didn’t know how they’d be if I only dehydrated them without boiling them first in sugar. They’re actually really delicious as is. I dehydrated them with my dehydrator on 120 degrees for about 5 hours, until they were dry, but still a little chewy. They’re great with granola, and I’ve added them to other goodies that I’m going to give as Christmas gifts later. I amended this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen.


3 cups oats
1 c shredded coconut
1 c pecans or sunflower seeds
1/4 c toasted wheat germ (optional, if gluten free)
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 c honey
1/4 t cinnamon
1 egg white
1 c dried cherries

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the cherries. Spread it in a thin layer on an insulated baking sheet, and cook for around 45 minutes. Halfway through the time, use a spatula to turn the granola so it will cook evenly. It’s finished when the oats look golden.

Add the cherries and store in a air-tight container. Homemade granola makes great gifts for holiday gifts, too!

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