Homemade Maple Granola

Here’s a really easy way to make the best homemade maple granola, which was adapted from a recipe sent to me quite a while ago by a good friend.  (I’m pretty sure it started out as the NY Times Granola recipe).  You can also make this recipe your very own by swapping out the seeds for nuts, tossing in your favorite dried fruit, or even adding dark chocolate chips once the batch has cooled down from baking.

Granola works well beyond breakfast - have a bowl with Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack, use as a topping for a fruit crisp, or sprinkle over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  A favorite dish at our house right now is baked fresh pears; the orchard is full of ripe fruit.  (Simply slice the pears in half, drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, bake for 20-25 minutes until soft, and then top with granola).

We often keep homemade granola in a Mason jar on the kitchen counter for a quick handful on the go.  You can even use crushed maple granola as an ingredient in a savory vegetable gratin.  And for a quick and easy gift, fill a glass container with granola and decorate with ribbon and a personalized card.

The very best part about making this granola is how heavenly your kitchen will smell when you are baking it on a weekend morning.  It’s the luscious combination of maple, cinnamon and cardamom that makes it so irresistible.  You can mix up a batch quickly, and just need to be around for 45 minutes or so to give it a stir while it’s baking.  Maple toasty goodness - right from your oven.

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup seeds or nuts, unsalted (SuperSeedz® gourmet pumpkin seeds are fantastic in this granola recipe)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, apricots, cranberries, currants, etc.)
¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup Vermont pure maple syrup (Grade A Amber or Grade A Dark Color work best for baking)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Cooking spray

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well with a spatula.  Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; spread the granola mixture evenly in the pan to the edges.  Bake for up to 45 minutes or until golden and toasted, stirring once or twice during the baking process.  Cool and store in an airtight container - enjoy!




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