Fire roasted oats with Cape Cod cranberries and maple fried butternut squash seeds
There are two families of granola: the crisp, sweet oat clusters of the store, and the loose, chewy variety made at home. While both have their place, my family has always been of the homemade school. As kids, my sister and I were packed off to camp or school with tins of slow roasted oats and slivered almonds. “It’s heart healthy,” my mother would petition. “Chuck eats it every morning!”
Chuck was our surrogate grandfather of sorts. Following a serious heart attack in the late seventies, he embarked on a strict regimen of daily granola. Almost thirty years later, he is 89 and going strong.
Much as I like Chuck’s granola, I had occasion recently to begin experimenting with my own. I choose to roast the oats over a wood stove rather than in an oven, which allowed the oats to stay chewy while still toasting enough to become dry and slightly brittle. I added dried Cape Cod cranberries and substituted a batch of butternut squash seeds for the more traditional slivered almonds. The result is a chewy, ever so slightly honey tinged cereal with the sweet earthy flavor of rolled oats and Cape fruits.
Fire up woodstove, burn on low.
Spread 6 cups oats across a 13 by 9 baking pan.
Over low heat, combine 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup walnut oil in a saucepan.
Pour melted honey and hot oil over oats, stirring until all are coated and the liquid has been absorbed.
Depending on the temperature of your stovetop, place the pan directly on its surface or position on a slightly elevated iron trivet. Roast the oats over low heat until lightly toasted, one to two hours, stirring often.
Let cool and add 2 cups dried cranberries and 1 cup maple fried butternut squash seeds. Serve over plain Greek yogurt and top with a splash of fresh milk or a dollop of apple butter.
MAPLE FRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SEEDS
Wash and dry one cup butternut squash seeds. This will require several squash; pumpkin seeds can be used as an alternative or together with squash seeds.
Over medium high heat, fry seeds in 2 to 3 tablespoons hot oil. After 10 to 15 minutes or when the seeds begin to turn golden brown, turn off heat and drizzle maple syrup over seeds to taste.
Let cool and refrigerate in a glass jar.