After years of baking boatloads of homemade roasted maple granola for my family, friends and clients, I am finally posting my recipe. Now everyone can enjoy baking their own. It’s just a little sweet and whole lot of crunchy. We eat it sprinkled over plain Greek yogurt or as a snack out of hand.
Homemade Roasted Maple Granola
Homemade granola has become a staple for many 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 cinnamon.
The base of my granola is rolled oats. If you follow a gluten-free diet, be sure to purchase gluten-free oats. 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 where they grow to crop rotation, during transportation or during processing and packaging. Choose what is best for you.
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. Only you know your sensitivity level.
I use real maple syrup and unrefined extra virgin coconut oil as the binders for my granola. The difference? Choose real maple syrup, not the fake stuff that is nothing but artificial flavor 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.
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 the dry ingredients. A kitchen scale makes it easier. 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 maple granola over half of the way through. I use my hands and a metal spatula.
Tips on Dried Fruit
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 mix in. When buying dried fruit, be sure to read labels for added sugar and sulfites.
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. Pitted dates are another option. Golden berries and dried white mulberries are lower sugar options and they taste terrific. Golden berries have only 2 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup versus 25 grams for dried cranberries.
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.
A Gift From the Kitchen
Homemade maple 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.
Roasted Maple Granola
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats 12 ounces
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut thread 2 ounces
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2 ounces
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds 2 3/4 ounces
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds 1 1/2 ounces
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons hemp seed
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or Chinese Five Spice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden berries
- 6 pieces pitted dates chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 250°F. In a large bowl mix rolled oats, dried coconut, nuts and seeds. In a large measuring cup whisk maple syrup, oil, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Pour the maple mixture into the oats mixture and stir until well combined. The oats should feel uniformly heavy and well coated with no dry areas.
- Pour granola on to a half sheet sized rimmed baking sheet and bake for 2 hours, stirring and turning over at 1 hour. Bake until dry and crunchy. Remove from the oven and cool, then stir in dried fruit. Store in a tightly covered container in the pantry.