Orange & Toasted Pecan Granola

by Heather on January 5, 2012

Can you tell that I recently got a crazy huge bag of pecans from my parents?

 

Pecans are great, but Texas pecans are the greatest.  I have become quite the pecan snob, which is a lot to say since ’twas but a few years ago that I claimed to hate the things.  Thank goodness for maturing taste buds, because I just don’t think my life was complete prior to my pecan love.

 

It’s true.  I mean it.

Anyway, granola is not something that I normally love to eat in anything other than yogurt.  I don’t know why, but I adore the crunch I get when eating it in creamy Greek yogurt, but milk does nothing for me.  Eating it straight out of the bag (or pan) does nothing for me.  But yogurt?  I’ll take seconds or thirds pleaseandthankyou!

 

The great thing about this batch is that it’s simple and packs a ton of orange flavor.  Plus it kind of reminds me of those orange cinnamon rolls that you can get from Pillsbury (aka the greatest prepackaged cinnamon rolls on earth).

 

P.S.  While we’re on the subject of those did you know they existed?  Orange cinnamon rolls that is?  When I was in college my two roommates and I played club volleyball, which basically meant we could extend our glory days from high school without the bureaucracy of officially playing for the university.  On our way to Houston for a tournament Kristin and I were going on and on and on about how much we loved the orange cinnamon rolls and how her mom was going to make them for us when we got there.  Emily?  Emily didn’t believe that they existed.  The entire weekend she never believed they existed.  And then the morning we had them at Kristin’s house she (Emily) swore up and down that her mom had mixed orange juice into the frosting and the the cinnamon rolls never existed.

 

But they do.  And they’re alive again in granola form!

ORANGE & TOASTED PECAN GRANOLA

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil, but you could use vegetable or canola)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • zest from two oranges

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl combine the oats and pecan halves.  In a saucepan combine the maple syrup, honey, oil, and cinnamon and bring to a boil.  Pour immediately over the oats and pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Spread mixture into a 9×13 pan coated with nonstick spray.  Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.  You want the pecans and oats to toast but not burn.  Meanwhile spread the orange zest over some parchment paper on a small plate.  Microwave for 30 seconds; this should make the zest harder and flakier.  Set aside, and then toss with the hot granola once it’s done baking.  Devour.

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