Fleeing Israel with Fruit Concentrated Goji Granola

There's good news and there's bad news.
granola fruit juice concentrate
Oh granola, don't worry, you're always good news
The bad news: We're leaving Israel. Almost a month early, we're leaving this country that we've hardly gotten to explore...and it definitely sucks (the leaving, not the country). There's no other way to describe it. The payoff to staying in Eilat (probably one of the least-ideal places to live in Israel) for the past three months was that we would get to spend three weeks seeing what Israel is really about: Jerusalem, Nazareth, The Sea of Galilee, etc...What's more, my parents were planning on visiting in two days, so we would have been together for the most non-American Thanksgiving ever. All this we shall have to save for another time.

I'll be back Israel, I'll be back.

The good news: In a whirlwind dash over to Jordan, we visited to Petra yesterday, which was....A-MA-ZING (more on that within the next few days).

The other good news: Now we get to go to Turkey for the next three weeks!

In case you haven't heard, Israel very well might be going to war soon. It's not exactly the best time to casually tour the country. In fact, anytime I'm in a country that has supposedly "opened the gates of Hell,"  I think I'll just take a raincheck on any sort of extended-stay. Despite the fact that all of the Israelis we talk to think it's mildly humorous that we are "fleeing" the country, it's hard not to take air raid sirens and the sound of war planes zooming overhead seriously.

But until our flight to Tel Aviv tomorrow morning and our flight to turkey on Tuesday, there is still a tiny apartment to clean, packing to do, and food to devour. It's not like I'm going to stop cooking just because Hamas is aiming a billion rockets at my current country of residence. Rocket-resistance takes nutrition, you know?
natural fruit granola recipe
Did somebody say nutrition? And hey, who spilled that?
Since I'm getting ready to hit the road, I'm going to tell you about one of my favorite money-saving travel companions: granola.

And why is it a favorite?

#1 Portability: It's already crumbly, so it's not gonna get smashed in my luggage.
#2 Price: Oats, honey, and dried fruit...it's cheap to make and super filling
#3 Nutrition: Full of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, so a little goes a long way
#4 Taste: It tastes great. And by great I mean excellent.

We had a lot of oats on-hand (I try to keep a steady supply for oatmeal and Oat and Chickpea Bars in the house), so it was high-time to get some granola ready for our Turkish voyage.
fruit granola recipe
You're lucky there's no milk around
I typically make a pumpkin granola (recipe for that to come), but I couldn't go and purchase pumpkin since I am in a mild state of frenzy trying to eliminate the food that's already in the kitchen. As I pondered what could be the moisture component in my granola, my eyes fell upon the bottle of goji berry fruit concentrate hidden away in the pantry. I had bought way too much of the stuff while it was on sale, and I would be a little depressed to leave it behind since the goji berry-- with its surplus of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and other healthy factors--is touted as one of the healthiest superfoods around. And even on sale, goji products are not exactly cheap.

So thank you, fruit concentrate. With your help, I have invented the best, healthiest granola that I've made to date. Crunchy, clumpy, and just sweet enough with hardly any added sugar, I can now breakfast and snack upon you for weeks to come and avoid spending money on extra food while traveling.
Granola and flannel. Meant to be?

Natural Fruit Juice Concentrate Granola [vegan + GF]
Note: I used a very tiny, finnicky oven, so until I make this with more standard equipment, be sure to keep an eye on this while baking as cooking times and temperatures may vary slightly. I also suggest doubling or tripling the recipe since it keeps so well. Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup 100% fruit juice concentrate of your choosing (make sure there are no added ingredients)
  • 1 cup raisins/chopped dates/ dried cranberries/etc.
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut (look for no added ingredients)
  • 3/4 cup honey (can be mixed with agave/maple syrups)
  • 3/4 cup seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc... I used all three)
  • 3/4 cup toasted nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 2 tbs sugar (or 4 packets/4 tsp stevia)
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

  • granola with fruit juice recipe
    How are you not gonna be bright eyed and bushy tailed after seeing this?
    Directions
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees

    Gently toast oats until fragrant, but not browning about 5-8 minutes. This is an optional step, but it help to provide a crispier granola.

    Let's make this easy: Combine everything except for chia seeds. Stir thoroughly.

    Spread mixture out on a baking pan (atop parchment paper if you have it) to form a 1/2-3/4 inch layer. Try to keep it a bit compressed to help chunks form. Depending on oven size, you might have to work in batches.

    Place in oven and after about 20 minutes, begin stirring every 10 minutes. When it's close to being finished (about 35-40 minutes), add your chia seeds (do this later so that they dont' absorb all the moisture in the beginning).

    As you near the 40 minute mark, begin tasting the granola by removing a spoonful, letting it rest for one minute, and then sampling. It "hardens" considerably as it cools, so this way you'll have a better idea of what it actually tastes like. I like to bring mine just to the brink of burning (the edges usually get barely burnt) because I like it crunchy.
    natural fruit granola recipe
    Mission Secret Fruit Incorporation: Success
    The Savings: Making your own granola is a no-brainer; the ingredients are cheap, the process is simple, and you get way more nutritionally and quantity-wise than any cereal or granola you would purchase at the store. If you're a parent, this is a great substitute for the cardboard cereal that most children become accustomed to at a young age. Even better, if you double (or triple) the recipe, you spend about one hour of kitchen labor and you can eat from it for weeks to come. Time and money saving.


    Looks like we should have an exciting next few days...stay tuned by clicking here!

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