Cherry Pecan Granola

Cherry Pecan Granola

After eating Mary’s Wild Oats at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor a number of times I was on a quest to recreate it at home. At $7.50 a pop it’s not cheap to eat granola at their restaurant, but it’s made from inexpensive and easy-to-find ingredients so I figured I could make a similar version myself. I searched the web, but Zingerman’s has not yet parted with their recipe, although their description on the website gave me a enough clues of what ingredients to look for when comparing other recipes. Oats, of course, honey, butter, dried cranberries and whole almonds.

Homemade Granola

Of course, the beauty of making your own granola is that you can adapt it to your tastes, which is what I’ve done here. You can easily change out the choice of nuts, sweeteners and dried fruits to your own favorites. I found a good base recipe on CDKitchen’s website and adapted that to include my favorites. I’ve experimented enough times that my current favorite recipe combo is the recipe below. It includes, pecans, dried cherries, cinnamon and honey. Shhh… but I’d argue that my version is even better than the recipe I was first out to find.

I purchased a yogurt maker a number of months ago, so in addition to making my own granola each week I also make a batch of fresh vanilla yogurt. I also pick up fresh berries or bananas and consistently eat the combination for breakfast every morning. It keeps me full until my workday lunch at noon and I never get bored with it. This past week I made a version with pistachios and maple syrup, also tasty! So, feel free to try different variations until you find the perfect one for you!

Cherry Pecan Granola

Adapted from cdkitchen

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup dried tart cherries

 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix oats, pecans, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl combine oil and honey; you do not need to stir. Microwave for 60 seconds then pour over oats mixture.

Stir oil mixture into oats until it is completely incorporated into the oats mixture. It will still look a little dry. Spread on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Let granola cool completely then add to a large Ziploc or other storage container. Mix in dried cherries. Store at room temperature for up to one week.

Back to the Roots – Chelsea, Michigan

Back to the Roots – Chelsea, Michigan

I love that we found a new breakfast place recently, but Back to the Roots is a bit of a destination breakfast for us as it’s located in downtown Chelsea, about 30 minutes from Ypsilanti, where we live. Chelsea is a cute little town with some interesting shops so I don’t mind making the trip. We’ve been to this restaurant  four times since we first discovered it about 2-3  months ago.

Back to the Roots Caramel Latte

Back to the Roots is right off Main Street in the center of downtown. Don’t be fooled when you first walk in as you’ll see the store portion of their business, keep on walking toward the back and you’ll be greeted by a member of their friendly staff who will ask if you’ll be dining in their cafe.

They set themselves apart from other businesses in the area  by donating a portion of their proceeds to benefit social justice issues around the world and in the surrounding communities.

I’ve had both their French toast and the buttermilk pancakes. While the French toast is pretty tasty, it’s also very simple. The pancakes are my favorite because they’re topped with a lovely, not-too-sweet apple-raisin compote with spices that make the dish taste like a bite of autumn, my favorite season.

They also have a coffee bar in the front, so you can order a fresh latte or cappuccino with your hot breakfast. I can attest that they serve a mean caramel latte! I’m also addicted to their herb breakfast potatoes. They are full of flavor and cooked up with a great crispy outer crust, but soft potato inside. They’re big enough to share, but trust me when I say you may not want to!

Back to the Roots - Herb Potatoes

Josh highly recommends the biscuits and gravy, although on our last visit he had something more traditional, their eggs, meat and toast meal – The American – which he also said was good.

Service has been great every time we’ve stopped in, which is very important to me. If the food is good somewhere, but the service is consistently bad I still won’t come back. The staff here are very friendly and even chatty, in a good way. I feel very welcome every time we go in.

This is one of those places that I’ve wanted to hold on to as my own little secret spot, as we haven’t had to wait in any lines on the weekend yet! But, it’s also a place I’d like to get the word out about because they run a great place which everyone can enjoy in addition to promoting fair trade practices and social causes around the world. So, if you visit and enjoy it I encourage you to share it with your friends!