Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Goji Berry Granola

I’m gaga for goji berries lately. These beautiful ruby-colored dried berries are strangely tart, slightly salty, somewhat sweet and kind of earthy. And they make for a super healthy snack.

himalayan goji berries

Goji berries hail from the Himalayas and are claimed to be one of the newest superfoods because of their potential health-boosting and disease-fighting properties.  Specifically, goji berries are very high in antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fiber. (By the way, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and tea are other examples of so-called superfoods.)

But I’ve got to be honest, goji berries take some getting used to; they are not crave-able on their own like, say, dried cranberries are. So to get my goji berry antioxidant boost in, I’ve started eating them by the handfuls with nuts and other dried fruit, as a kind of homemade trail mix; or I add them to my oatmeal or cereal in the morning.

I’ve also been throwing goji berries in to steep with my morning pot of white, green or black tea. I like the berries so much in the tea that I’m working on a new Zanitea blend to feature them.

goji berries with silver needle white tea

I figured the goji berries would be a great addition to my favorite granola recipe. I alter this recipe almost every time I make it, experimenting with different types of nuts, dried fruits or other embellishments. This is a great base recipe from which you can explore a variety of ingredients based on your specific tastes or what you have on hand in the pantry.

goji berry granola

Happy cooking and sipping!

Goji Berry Granola

(Adapted from the Very Crunchy Granola recipe in Molly Katzen’s Sunlight Café cookbook.)

Makes about 8 cups

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup barley flakes

1 cup flaxseed meal (or oat bran)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup raw slivered or chopped almonds (or other raw nuts)

¾ cup canola oil

½ cup pure maple syrup (or honey)

1 tablespoon coconut extract (or vanilla extract)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup coconut flakes

½ cup dried goji berries

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Combine oats, barley flakes, flax, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a large bowl.

3. Combine the oil, maple syrup, and extract in a small mixing bowl. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, then add the cinnamon, and stir to combine.

4. Bake for 45 minutes total, removing the baking sheet from the oven every 15 minutes to stir the granola around; this helps everything brown evenly. During the last 15-minute interval, stir in the coconut flakes; if you add them sooner, they may burn.

5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow the granola to cool completely before stirring in the goji berries.

6. It will keep for a week or two in the pantry if stored in an airtight container.

Tips/Variations:

  • Do not use quick oats, only regular oats. If you can’t find barley flakes, just use 4 cups of rolled oats.
  • Use any type of nuts you like in this recipe; you can use just one type of nut or a mix of nuts.
  • The coconut flakes can be omitted. If you leave them out, use vanilla extract instead of coconut extract.
  • Add to or replace the goji berries with your favorite dried fruit. Mangoes, blueberries and cherries all work well here and are a little more interesting than your standard dried cranberry.
  • I think the granola is plenty sweet with the maple syrup (or honey), but if you prefer an even sweeter granola, sprinkle the mixture with 1/3 cup packed brown sugar as soon as it comes out of the oven; the sugar will melt over the cooling granola.
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2 comments on “Goji Berry Granola

  1. Eloiza Zaldine
    September 28, 2012

    Do you have a recipe having a holy basil herbs on it? I’ve been looking for some recipe that I can put on to a contest in my town and want it to stand out being one of the healthiest dish I can create for a single serving. I went over for a tea which I can include and bought some tulsi tea from Dr. Mercola at http://organicindia.mercola.com/tulsi-tea.aspx and will include it on the contest.

    • Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
      September 28, 2012

      Hi Eloiza – I don’t yet have a recipe that includes holy basil herbs. What about doing a sorbet or sherbet with holy basil, mint and lemongrass? Or a coconut milk ice cream infused with holy basil and other herbs. I recently had a chai blend that someone made with holy basil. Maybe you could add it to a chai blend and do a chai flavored sweet potato or butternut squash soup. I’d be interested in what you come up with!

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2012 by in Cooking With Tea Recipes and tagged , , , , , .

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About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

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