I love granola and I used to make it all the time. But as with my homemade yogurt making, it fell to the wayside over this past crazy year. One of my favourite weekday breakfasts includes this homemade granola, Greek yogurt, and some seasonal fruit. And a coffee, don’t forget the coffee.
Sure, there are hundreds of varieties of granola in the store you can buy – but trust me this homemade version is way better and it’s really simple to make. Also, have you ever looked at how much sugar is in some of those store bought granolas? I like my granola less sweet and with a lot more extras. This recipe is extremely customizable; use whatever nuts or seeds, dried fruit, or whole grain flakes you like. When I was in my granola making heyday, I made sure my cupboard was stocked with different kinds of whole grain flakes, from my trusty oatmeal, to barley, quinoa, or spelt flakes.
In this latest batch I added shredded coconut, maple syrup, and some unsweetened dried cranberries for something a little tart. Walnuts, ground flax seeds, and my latest obsession, hemp hearts, provide a triple punch of Omega-3’s. Most of us don’t get enough of these essential fatty acids in our diet. If you are using flax seeds make sure to buy the ground flax seeds, otherwise your body won’t absorb those beneficial Omega-3’s.
The grains, nuts, and seeds become slightly candied in the oven and are deliciously addictive. I suggest adding the dried fruit at the end, once the granola has had a chance to bake; otherwise you’ll end up with very hard, potentially bitter pieces in your granola. No one wants that. If you like your granola with lots of granola clusters don’t stir it as often, or if you like it broken-up, stir it more often.
Maple Coconut Granola
4 cups of rolled oats or mixture of whole grain flakes.
½ cup unsweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)
½ cup shelled hemp hearts
¼ cup ground flax seeds
½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds
½ cup shelled sunflower seeds
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup chopped or slivered almonds
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped cashews
½ cup of your favourite oil*
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dried unsweetened cranberries (a little harder to find but I love the tartness these add)
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients, except the vanilla and dried cranberries. Mix well.
3. Line two rimmed cookie sheets or 9×13 pans with parchment paper. Split granola between the two pans.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring the granola every 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle vanilla over the warm granola, this will add a wonderful scent to the granola. Set aside to cool.
6. Once cooled, mix in dried cranberries and seal in an airtight container.
* note if using coconut oil you may need to heat the oil briefly so that it becomes liquid.