I am completely addicted to granola. A common misconception about granola is that it is healthy. If you look at the ingredients in most granola sold in stores, you get a lot more sugar than you need or want, along with the possibility of other processed ingredients. So it most cases, granola can be an unhealthy choice. Rest assured though because I have a recipe that you can make at home for a lot less money than you pay in the store as well as being a healthy, non processed choice.
In this granola, pure maple syrup is the sweetener used. Maple syrup is rated 54 on the Glycemic Index chart, which is in the low category. And from a nutritional standpoint, it contains maganese, iron, and calcium. While maple syrup is still a sweetener and obviously contains sugar, it raises your blood sugar slower than regular sugar. Sugar in general should be used sparingly in your diet so I use just enough maple syrup in this recipe to get a light, maple flavor.
And the spice flavor, don't even get me started! I love anything with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. Those flavors combined give this granola a nice, warm taste. You can add any nuts or dried fruits to this granola and it will be delightful. If you decide to add dried fruit, make sure it is an unsweetened fruit. Often times, manufacturers will add sugar to the fruit and that is exactly what we are trying to avoid. Another great add in is unsweetened coconut flakes. I absolutely love the coconut flakes from Tropical Traditions.
Homemade granola is an excellent gift idea as well. I like to make a big batch during the holidays, put it into some jars, and give it to friends, teachers, hostess gifts, etc.
This recipe is a staple in our house and is always on hand. If you end up enjoying it, I would suggest doubling the recipe. It stores really well in an airtight container. You can refrigerate it or keep it in your pantry. Granola is a companion with yogurt, great on ice cream, mixed with fruit, and of course the obvious, as your breakfast cereal.
3 cups organic gluten-free old fashioned oats
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2-3/4 cup pure organic maple syrup* (see note below)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. After stirring a few times, I find that it is helpful to thoroughly mix everything with your hands so you can really get the maple syrup and oil incorporated evenly.
*A note about the maple syrup- the more syrup used, the more your granola will form clumps and be crunchy. The less you use, the looser the granola will be and it also has more of a lighter texture and sweetness.
4. Transfer mixture onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Let cool and store in an airtight container.