There are as many granola recipes on the internet as their are stars in the sky. And making your own at home, is this the most vegan thing ever? Perhaps, but a lot of store bought granola can be too sweet and have a lot of needless junk in it. Regardless of what you eat beyond breakfast, it’s probably worth trying. Quickly researching the rocky origins of granola, it probably was the breakfast of choice of late Victorian-era health nuts and a corporate invention, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it back to the people. Make your own, stick it to the granola man.
Well, here’s my star in that oaty constillation: a simple maple-sweetened concoction, slow roasted until crisp and with a light sheen. Because it’s autumn, there’s plenty of ginger and spice. Flaky Maldon sea salt adds sparkle and compliments beautifully the concentrated sweetness of dried fruit, but use any large grain salt, or even basic kosher salt.
Change things up by:
-Subbing agave for maple
-Pumping up the spices, or swapping out with garam masala or curry powder
-Adding coconut flakes or quinoa flakes, stirring in a few tablespoons of chia seeds or flax
-Use whatever dried fruit floats your boat. Just dice it fine.
-Omit the oil if you must, or cut it to 1 teaspoon
Use your nose when roasting the granola: don’t wander away from the kitchen long during the delicate roasting process! The oats should appear dry, have a golden sublte sheen, and perhaps a few lingering on the edges of pan appear extra toasty. Stir often, watch closely. Your oven may run hot (or cold) so your milage may vary, but the idea is to get deeply flavorful, evenly roasted oats.
It’s a challenge not to eat it all when it’s pipping hot out of the oven. Resist the urge, let it cool completely before stashing and enjoy the smug satisfaction of living off the store-bought granola grid.
Maple Maldon Granola
Makes about 5 1/2 cups
A maple syrup tip: spray the insides of your measuring cup with a generous coating of oil spray, then measure your maple. It will slide easily out of the cup into the bowl, just like that.
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, olive oil, or melted virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
- 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
- 1/2 generous teaspoon Maldon salt or any coarse salt
- 1 cup dried cherries, cranberries, flame grape raisins, or finely chopped dried apricots or dried apples
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray the insides of two 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pans, or similarly sized pans, with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl whisk together maple syrup, oil, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and allspice or nutmeg until very smooth.
2. With a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon, fold in oats and nuts and coat everything thoroughly with the maple mixture. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and thoroughly stir again. Spread in an even layer into Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching carefully; bake until the oats have a golden color. Don’t overbrown and promptly remove the granola from the oven.
3. While still hot, fold in the dried fruit; the heat will gently steam and soften the fruit. Cool completely (at least 45 minutes) before tightly sealing in glass or plastic containers.