I’ve posted before that we have some quirky markets here in my part of the PNW. One of my favorites is a regional chain called Grocery Outlet, largely because it has, hands down, the best selection of wine in our town. It also has a fascinating organic aisle – the selection changes from week to week and you never know what you might find, including the dried mulberries I used in this week’s granola.
I grew up with only one association with mulberries – a childhood song that starts “all around the mulberry bush…” and ends with “pop goes the weasel”. I also distinctly remember a jack in the box toy that played this as I wound it up and then terrified me when it popped open. I didn’t have a clue what a mulberry bush was until I moved to New Mexico, where there was a mulberry bush across the street overhanging the parking lot of the local bank. I’d go out late at night and gather mulberries. I believe that, technically, these mulberries were fair game, since they did overhang the sidewalk and the road, but I enjoy clandestine foraging. I’d eat handfuls of the mulberries for lunch and even went so far to make a pavlova with mulberries one time
When we moved to the PNW, no more mulberries. I have encountered them once at the farmers market, so I’m sure they grow here, but I also think they may have a reputation as an invasive species (or at least they did in New Mexico).
Imagine my surprise (and delight) to find dried mulberries at Grocery Outlet. They taste a little like a raisin with a bit more of a seeded crunch. They are sweet, so a lovely counter to pecans and dark chocolate. I don’t recall seeing these at other groceries, but they are available via Amazon.
Dried Mulberries, Pecan, Dark Chocolate Granola
Serves 10 – 12
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
¾ cup pecans, broken into pieces
¾ cup dried mulberries
½ cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the oats, honey, olive oil, and pecans. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Add the dried mulberries and the chocolate chips after taking the granola out of the oven. The chocolate chips will melt a bit – this is the way I prefer them in my granola. You can wait to add them until the granola is fully cool.
Cool and then store in an airtight container.