Maple-Roasted-Granola

Roasted Maple Granola

By Sally on October 29, 2013

appetizers & snacks, baked goods, breakfast, gluten-free, the daniel plan,

4 Comments

After years of baking boatloads of homemade granola for my family, friends and clients, I am finally posting my recipe. Now everyone can enjoy baking their own.

Granola – A Pantry Staple

Crunchy, golden granola has become a staple for most pantries. Sprinkle it into yogurt, eat a handful as a snack, or create beautiful yogurt-berry breakfast parfaits. Making your own is so easy. And the house smells incredible while it is baking thanks to the maple syrup and spices. As good as it is, portion control is health-wise when enjoying granola.

The book that got me into making my own granola is King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking. If you like to bake, it’s a great book. If you bake gluten-free (as I do), you will need to adapt the recipes.

About Oats

The base of my granola is rolled oats. If you follow a gluten-free diet, be sure to purchase gluten-free oats such as Bob’s Red Mill.

While oats are often included on the list of grains to be avoided for those following a gluten-free diet, it can be confusing. Oats do not inherently contain gluten. So why buy gluten-free oats? Oats can be contaminated with gluten in many ways, from growing in a field next to a field of wheat, through crop rotation when oats are grown in the same soil, during transportation or during processing and packaging. So choose what is best for you: gluten-free or standard oats.

One more note on oats. While the do not contain gluten, they do contain a gluten-like protein called avenin, which some people with gluten-sensitivity are also sensitive to. If you are highly sensitive, this recipe may not be for you.

Quality Ingredients

I use real maple syrup (grade A or B) and unrefined coconut oil as the binders for my granola. The difference? Grade B has a stronger maple flavor and darker color. Choose real maple syrup, not the fake stuff that is nothing but artificially flavored and colored corn syrup. The real stuff is more expensive, but better tasting and better for you.

While it is not a refined sugar, maple syrup is still a sweetener meaning we must be smart about how much we consume in our diet. Maple syrup is a more natural way to satisfy a sweet tooth. A little health benefit – maple syrup is a good source of the trace minerals manganese and zinc.

Whisk together the maple syrup and coconut oil with vanilla (or almond) extract, and your spices of choice – cinnamon, nutmeg, Chinese Five Spice or other warm spice blends. Have fun varying them to your liking.

In a medium bowl, measure out oats, coconut thread, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp seed, and flax meal. The nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fat. Pour the syrup mix into the dry mix and stir until the oats feel uniformly heavy. Stir really well! There should be no white or dry areas left.

Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 2 hours, turning the granola over (stirring) half of the way through. I use my hands and a metal spatula. The pan is hot. The granola is not too hot to use your hand to assist turning.

dried fruit

Dried Fruit – Use Sparingly

Either with or without dried fruit, this granola is great. For reduced sugar overall, skip it or reduce the 3/4 cup further. If you are using dried fruit, allow the granola to cool, then add your choice. I’ve cut back on how much I add to my granola to reduce sugar.  Be sure to read labels for any added sugar when you buy your dried fruit.

The above photo shows (at the top, clockwise) bright red dried goji berries, sweet and tangy golden berries, apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, dried white mulberries, dried currants, dried blueberries, golden raisins, and in the center, sulfite-free dried apricots.

The wildcrafted golden berries and dried white mulberries were the newest discoveries from my hunt. Searching for lower sugar dried fruit options, they taste terrific. I found them in the Whole Foods bulk section.

Another consideration, if you have asthma or sulfite sensitivity, read labels and choose dried fruit without sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is used as a preservative in many dried fruits. It also keeps many dried fruits (like dried apricots) a pretty color. Sulfite-free dried apricots are usually brown. Not as nice looking, but sulfite-free.

Portion Control

While granola tastes terrific, its best to use portion control. I’ve listed a serving as 1/3 of a cup, which you can even reduce to a 1/4 cup.

A Gift From the Kitchen

Homemade granola makes a welcome gift when visiting family and friends over the holidays. Tied up in little bags with a bow, granola is a terrific hostess gift.

yogurt and granola

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
Michelle K | October 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

Thank you! You DO make the best granola, and sealed it does last quite well in the pantry. I love it over yogurt for breakfast. It also makes a great Christmas gift. (hint-hint!) Appreciate the explanation about gluten and oats, very helpful.

    Sally | October 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Ha! I thought of you when I posted this! I can still make it for you or now you can make it too! Actually, I have some waiting for you in the pantry…

Kelly | October 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Just made this today. It was very easy and SO good. I never thought of making my own granola, but now I can really enjoy it knowing that it is made with high quality ingredients. I’m already making plans for homemade granola Christmas gifts. Thanks for the idea and the awesome recipe Sally!

Linda | January 1, 2014 at 4:19 am

Hi Sally,

Just wanted to thank you so much for this recipe! I ended up making 4 double batches of this over the holidays and packaged them in pint sized mason jars for gifts. You get about 6 jars per double batch. Everyone loved it and said they appreciated getting something healthier over the holidays. If you ever come up to the San Francisco area, check out Rainbow Market. I found them about halfway through the process and they sold almost everything to make this in bulk, and it was organic too. Thanks again for helping us all be healthier!

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