Granola is one of those foods with a sketchy nutrition history. One minute it’s praised as a health food, the next it’s deemed evil. So what gives?
Granola can be great, as long as you know what’s in it. Oh, and portion size is another thing to keep in mind…but you already know that.
I love to make my own granola. It’s simple, tasty and I know exactly what’s in it. Bonus that it hasn’t been sitting on a store shelf for months and months. (It doesn’t last long in my house!)
Here’s an easy recipe for basic granola. You can customize by using different nuts or seeds, adding some spice like cinnamon and maybe some dried fruit after baking. Great sprinkled over yogurt, fruit or whatever needs a little crunch.
I made a few simple changes to lighten the recipe. First, I reduced the nuts and seeds a bit for an “oatier” granola that still packs a nutty crunch. I also decreased the oil and and omitted the brown sugar since the maple syrup adds a nice, subtle sweetness. The toasted flavor of the oats and nuts really comes through since added fat and sugar are used sparingly.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
3/4 cup raw pecan halves or pieces
3/4 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut in a large bowl. Drizzle with maple syrup and olive oil; stir to combine. If desired, stir in salt.
Spread mixture in a large rimmed baking sheet (15- x 10-inch). Bake 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until toasted, stirring every 5 minutes.
Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.
Makes about 6 cups
Maple Almond Granola