I don't mean "special" the way some people say "special cookies" or "special brownies". Rather, this is a special recipe for granola because it includes this little guy:
This is a Budda Hand Citron, also known as bushukan (in Japanese) or fingered citron. It doesn't have much "meat" inside, so its fragrant peel is most often used for zesting. It really has a lovely smell to it. My entire car practically brightened after I had it in a grocery bag for mere minutes.
After talking with the grocery store superstar as to how I could possibly use this, I decided to zest its peel into some granola. After all, orange/cranberry granola is my favorite flavor anyway, so why not make it myself with such a unique ingredient?
I glanced at my good friend A's website Strawberry Sorbet for help on making stovetop granola. I've made it once before, using her recipe, so I knew it would be a sound starting point.
I gathered my ingredients:
1 c. gluten-free oats
enough hazelnuts to make 2/3 c. ground
1/2 c. apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries
zest of one Budda hand citron
3 T. raw blue agave nectar
Then, I went to work!
Following A's suggestions, I simply toasted the oats on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Then, I added the hazelnuts and toasted them as well.
I added the cranberries and zested peel and stirred it all together, for one more minute. I took it off the heat and added the agave, stirring until it seemed well-mixed. I let it sit for just a few minutes before I started digging in. It tasted amazing with some vanilla flax milk.
This post has been shared on Diet, Dessert and Dogs' Wellness Weekend.