July 30, 2014

Almond Cherry Granola

This post is sponsored by McCormick.  Almond Cherry Granola is a sweet toasted granola recipe made with almonds, cinnamon and dried cherries.  It is perfect for breakfast or snack time.

Almond Cherry Granola | thetwobiteclub.com

In our house, I'm the one who comes up with the meal plan.  I'll  usually ask my husband and kids if they have any recipe requests before I go shopping and then I fill in the blanks making sure that we have plenty of options lined up for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Although food is totally my thing and I'm one of those odd ducks that actually enjoys grocery shopping (I seriously can spend 3 hours in the store and it feels like 5 minutes), it's sometimes hard to come up with fresh meal ideas that my whole family will love.

Personally, I love almost anything.  That, however, is not the case when it comes to my husband.  Over the years he has become more open to trying new foods, but he's still pretty particular about proteins.  He's not a fan of most seafood, with the exception of lobster.  And although I would love it if it did, sadly my budget doesn't allow for daily lobster indulgences.  He also doesn't love it when I cook pork.  Pork!  Ugh, it pains me to say that, because I love pork.  

Then there's the kids.  Luckily, the 5-year old will try most anything, but I have to keep in mind the fact that 5-year olds and spicy foods don't usually mix.  Same goes for the little one who is 1 1/2.  Spicy anything is a no-go.  Otherwise, he's like most other toddlers out there...anything that ends up in his tummy and not on the floor is what I consider a success.

With all of our individual likes and dislikes, I am always on the lookout for recipes that will fit the bill for the whole fam.  That's why I was so excited to discover a fun new way to get meal ideas tailored to my family's tastes by creating my own unique FlavorPrint profile with the good folks at McCormick. After taking a quiz on my flavor preferences, I received customized recipe suggestions based on the flavors the whole family likes.  The whole process was super quick, as in two-minutes quick, and easy.

Almond Cherry Granola made with cinnamon, almonds and dried cherries.

Creating my FlavorPrint profile felt kind of like a game as I was shown different ingredients and foods and gave them either a thumbs up or thumbs down.  As I worked my way through the list, I quickly forgot the humdrum that meal planning can often be.  This was actually fun!  The quiz even took note of what kitchen tools I had on hand.  Mandolin? Yes.  Deep fryer?  No.  The more info I gave, the more tailored my profile became.

I was excited to see my FlavorPrint profile building with each choice I made and, in the end, I was given tons of recipe recommendations based on my answers.  My profile helped make planning the menu for the week incredibly easy and I was thrilled to add some fresh new recipes to the mix that fit right in with our tried and true family favorites.  While I do write a blog about food, I sometimes still get stuck in a rut like everyone else out there.  Spaghetti, tacos, burgers, cereal and graham crackers every week can get a little boring, you know?

I was especially happy to discover this Almond Cherry Granola among my suggested recipes.  I have been wanting to try my own homemade granola and I couldn't wait to make it!  It turned out absolutely delicious and so easy to make.  I'm looking forward to trying all kinds of different variations.  The kids especially loved the layered yogurt parfait that I made with it.  I know we'll be making this recipe and many more from my FlavorPrint recommendations again and again!

So, what are you waiting for?  Take the quiz to see what yummy recipes your FlavorPrint profile has in store for you!


Almond Cherry Granola

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Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.  Mix brown sugar, egg whites, oil, cinnamon and vanilla in small bowl until well blended.  Set aside.
  2. Place oats and almonds in a large bowl.  Add egg white mixture; toss until evenly coated.
  3. Spread evenly on foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Stir in dried cherries.  Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes
  • Join the conversation by using the hashtag #MyFlavorPrint!
  • This post is sponsored by McCormick.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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