Homemade Granola — The Perfect Weekday Breakfast

Maple Pecan Granola

I love granola and so does Neri.  We eat it for breakfast with milk, soy milk or yogurt  and on Greek yogurt with fruit and honey for dessert or as a late afternoon snack. There is something much more satisfying about the taste of homemade granola.  The problem with store-bought granola–too many fillers like puffed rice, too few nuts and dried fruit pieces and often, too many artificial ingredients.

Making your own granola is simple, cheaper (generally speaking) and so much healthier for you and the environment. How is this better for you and the environment?

  1. Fewer boxes and bags to toss in the trash.
  2. Increases your daily consumption of whole foods–no fillers in the homemade version.
  3. Decreases your intake of artificial ingredients and by-product made from soy, corn and other non-food crops that giant corporations produce in excess, making it is in their best interest to promote and encourage the consumption of large quantities of low quality, junk food.

Off the soap-box and into the kitchen…My standard granola recipe was inspired by recipes from Molly Katzen and Martha Stewart.  Cookbooks are a great source of inspiration or an excellent resource to find basic proportions for a specific dish to ensure a more successful recipe born of your own creativity.  This granola is not too sweet, but extremely flavorful.  After making the initial recipe, try experimenting with different rolled grains, nuts, seeds, oils, liquid sweeteners and flavorings.

Homemade granola also makes a great ice cream topping, a quick fruit crisp topping with addition of flour, sweetener and butter or a base for a homemade trail mix.

I use a clay or stoneware dish (Emile Henry or Le Creuset are my favorites) approximately 9 x 12 or larger baker instead of a baking sheet.  You can use rimmed baking sheet, but you will need to watch the granola more carefully to avoid burning the nuts and smaller ingredients.

A clay or other stoneware dish will slowly and more evenly toast the granola than a metal baking sheet.  Set your timer for 5- 10 minute increments to check batch for browning and to toss the grains.  Once you know how your oven works with the recipe you may be able to set the timer for 15 minutes for the first round and then every 10 minutes.

Good luck and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Maple Pecan Granola

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp white sesame seeds (raw not toasted)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 6 tsp walnut or other nut oil
  • 6 T pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven 325℉.

2. Using a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and gently toss together until dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.

3. Spread mixture evenly in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.

4. Bake until golden brown. Total time is approximately 20-40 minutes, depending on your oven. For your first batch check every 10 -15 minutes when using the baking dish and every 5-10 minutes with the baking sheet.**

5. After the first 10-15 minutes, toss the grain and spread out evenly as well as rotating the pan to ensure even cooking. Check and toss as necessary. Average time to cook- 30 minutes.

6. Remove when golden brown. Cool completely and store in an air tight container at room temperature.  Will keep up to 2 weeks.

**After gauging your oven’s cooking time you may increase the amount of time between checking the granola.


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