Skip the Restaurant: 10 Meal Ideas to Cook for Valentine's Day

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Vanilla-Balsamic Granola with Cherries
Courtesy of Alexandra Shytsman for Natural Gourmet Institute9/10

Vanilla-Balsamic Granola with Cherries


Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • Strawberries, for serving
  • Yogurt, optional, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 225°.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  3. In separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, except for cherries.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Transfer onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, about one hour, stirring granola every 15-20 minutes during baking.
  5. Toss in the cherries, and let cool. Store in an airtight container (with six cups per recipe, you should have leftovers.) Serve with fresh strawberries, over yogurt, if desired.

Recipe courtesy Chef-Instructor Olivia Roszkowski of the Natural Gourmet Institute

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