Cardamom and Orange Granola

This granola came together one rainy afternoon – as most recipes on this blog seem to – and as I looked at the beautiful mountain of peel of the oranges I had just gone through, I had the urge to make something out of the zest.  I was never the biggest fan of citrus in baked goods growing up, but over the past few months I’ve discovered the difference it can make and the depth of flavour it can bring to just about anything.

I don’t even really know why I bother making granola.  It hardly ever makes it to a jar once cooled, and when it does make it there, it doesn’t last more than 3-4 hours. 11 year old me would have cringed at the combination of cardamom and orange in this.  I would have probably begged for you to just make it chocolate-y, but it is so incredibly fresh, different and delicious and it has been brightening up these rainy March mornings.

The granola is made with a combination of oat flakes and buckwheat groats, which make every bite crunchy and earthy.  I then add in some nuts (chopped almonds and hazelnuts in this case) which toast to perfection in the oven, and then sweeten and bind it all with maple syrup and coconut oil.  Cardamom, orange zest and a few other spices are then added in and turn it all up a notch.  A little goes a long way with those little pods so I only add about 6, but feel free to add a few more for a real kick.  The same goes with the orange zest- if you’re a big fan of citrus, add in a little extra zest.   I also love adding dried fruit to my granola, but I make sure to add it once the granola is already baked as it will dry up and harden otherwise. I recently discovered dried golden berries so I’ve been adding them into everything, but any dried fruit will do in this.

Cardamom and Orange Granola

(Makes 6 cups)

2 cups oats
2 cups buckwheat groats
1/2 almonds, chopped
1/2 hazelnuts, chopped
6 cardamom pods, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dried fruit

Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats, buckwheat groats, chopped nuts, cardamom pods, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla powder, and sea salt in a bowl. Add in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup and mix until combined. Last, add in the orange zest and fold until combined. Spread the mixture on a lined baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake the granola for a total of 30-35 minutes, until it is golden and fragrant, and mix it every 10 or so. After removing the baking tray from the oven, add in the dried fruit and fold it in.

Let it cool, transfer it to a jar and store for up to a couple of weeks (if it lasts…).

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