Middle-Eastern Inspired Baked Granola

When I was sick recently all I wanted to eat was granola. I made a few different kinds, but this one was a favorite. I just made some more today, so I thought I would share. Sorry, I forgot to get weights.

3 cups quick cook oats

1/2 cup chopped almonds (or any nut)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup - 2/3 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped dates (9-10 medjool dates)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325. Line a 11 x 17 metal cookie sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients - excluding the dates and coconut.

In a microwave safe cup, warm the tahini for 20-30 seconds. Mix together the warmed tahini, maple syrup and vanilla extract. *If you like a less sweet granola, use the 1/2 cup instead of the 2/3 cup of maple syrup.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, making sure all the oats are coated. Evenly spread the mix onto the cookie sheet.

Bake on a middle rack for 30-35 minutes stirring at least once mid bake.

When toasty brown, remove from the oven and let the granola cool on the pan. Meanwhile, chop dates into bite sized pieces.

When cooled, add the chopped dates and shredded coconut. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 5 cups.

FYI - It takes a few hours for the granola to harden and come to full flavor. Don’t worry if it’s a tad soft and flavorless out of the oven.