Maple-Nut Granola

maple-nut granola - trust in kim

For breakfast I usually eat a bowl of fruit and homemade yogurt.  It’s so delicious, but I find sometimes it’s not enough to get me through the morning.  I haven’t made granola in ages, so I thought this would be a good time to rework an old recipe. I’ve used maple syrup for a little sweetness, and a bit of olive oil to make it nice and crunchy.  I think the amount of sugar and fat are quite reasonable, especially when you look at the fat and sugar content of commercial granolas.  The nuts themselves have a high fat content, but it’s a healthy fat, and one of the reasons why  serving of granola should be small.

What you need:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 300F.

2. Combine the oats, almonds, pecans, walnuts and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oil,maple syrup and vanilla to this and combine thoroughly.

3. Spread this mixture evenly on a baking tray.  Bake for 2o minutes.

4. Add the pumpkin seeds and coconut to the baking tray and combine with the other ingredients.  I like to add these later in the cooking process so they don’t get too toasty.

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.  You will want to watch it towards the end of the cooking time, just in case your oven in running a little hot.  The granola should be a golden colour, but not browned.  I think it tastes burnt when it gets browned.

6. Allow to cool completely on the baking tray, then store in an airtight container.

Healthy Homemade Maple Granola

Commercial granolas have a lot of sugar, fat and even salt added, so I tried to stay away from adding a lot of those to this recipe.  Nuts contain a lot of fat, but it’s a healthy fat, so you’re okay if you eat a moderate portion.  Two of the things I like about making my own granola are:  I know exactly what’s going in it, and I can change the ingredients to suit my own taste and what I happen to have on hand.  So feel free to substitute for your favourite nuts and seeds.  Do beware that some seeds, like flax and sesame, are more freely digested and therefore benefited from, if they have been ground  – probably not the best choices for substituting here.

What you need:

4 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup dried, not roasted, pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coconut ribbon or other unsweetened,dried coconut

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter (or oil for vegan and lactose-free)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

dash of salt

optional: 1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit

What you do:

1.  Combine the oats, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.

2.  Melt the butter and add the vanilla, salt and maple syrup to it.  Stir this liquid into the nut and oat mixture.

3.  Spread evenly onto a baking sheet, and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.  Set the timer for 10 minutes, then give it a stir.  Stir again after another 10 minutes, then check and stir every five minutes until it is golden brown.  If you can hear the pumpkin seeds popping you know it’s done.

4.  Remove from the oven to cool and add the coconut and optional dried fruit.  I prefer to add the fruit with each serving rather than adding to the recipe, so the fruit stays moist and the granola stays crunchy.  That way I can also vary the type of fruit I add, whether it be dried (if I need to take it ‘to go’) or fresh.

5.  Store in an airtight container.  Of you think it will take you more than a few weeks to consume or give away parts of this recipe, it’s a good idea to keep it in the fridge.  Because  nuts oil they are susceptible to spoiling – refrigeration helps avoid this problem.