My own creation, this Maple Granola is made with real maple syrup and lots of fruits and nuts.
I start every day with granola, mixed into some Greek Yogurt. Not just any granola though. I have been making my own granola for some time and have tried a number of recipes. This one is my favourite.
I've learned a thing or two about how to make good granola through trial and error. First, it has to have oil. If you want crispy granola, you need oil. I use vegetable or canola. You could use coconut oil, which is healthier, but it will impart a light coconut flavour. It also has to have sugar of some sort. Maple syrup or honey together with some brown sugar hits the sweet spot for me. No pun intended :). It's always tempting to try to reduce the fat and sugar, but I've never been happy with the results. I'd much sooner eat less of a better tasting granola.
Secondly, you need to cook the granola until it is well-toasted. Toasted oats have the most flavour. You also need to stir the granola regularly as it cooks, to ensure it toasts evenly. Without stirring, it will almost certainly be over-cooked around the edges.
Finally, I've learned the proper time to add different items when cooking granola. Don't cook any fruits (add in at the end), add coconut and walnuts/pecans near the end of the cooking time to avoid burning or bitterness. Almonds can be added from the start.
This recipe is great with maple syrup or honey. Honey seems to produce more clumps than maple syrup for some reason. I love the flavour undertones of maple syrup, myself, so I sacrifice the clumps usually. If you love clumps in your granola, go for the honey and don't stir it after you take it out of the oven.
Muskoka Maple Granola
- 4 cups large-flake, old fashioned oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup ((you could substitute honey))
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 300 ° F.
- Combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir well to combine, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the oil and the maple syrup. Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove. Add vanilla and stir well.
- Pour oil/maple syrup mixture over the oats mixture. Using two spoons, stir and toss the mixture until all of the oats are coated with the syrup.
- Place granola directly onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, remove the granola and stir, moving the granola around the outside edges into the middle and the middle out towards the edges. Set the timer for another 10 minutes. After the second 10 minutes, sprinkle with the coconut and then stir well again. Return to oven and set the timer for one last 10 minute bake. (30 minutes total, stirred twice at 10 minutes and 20 minutes). At the end of the last 10 minutes (30 minutes in the oven), remove the granola from the oven. Stir just a bit then sprinkle with the cranberries and raisins and leave undisturbed until it is completely cooled. Once cooled, stir the granola. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. Will keep for several weeks (although it may not last that long).