I am sort of a one-trick pony when it comes to breakfast…oatmeal with vanilla yogurt pretty much every morning. Lately, however, I have been looking for a healthy/tasty alternative to my usual fare. I remember loving Quaker’s Harvest Crunch as a kid so I set about trying to recreate it, albeit it with a bit less sugar, sodium and fat (jury’s still out on whether or not that aspect of the experiment was a success). My mom and I made a few batches from a Jamie Olive cookbook in the summer which were very good. After trying out a few more recipes, I have come to realize that it isn’t really the ingredients that are so different – oats, nuts, fruit- but the technique that seems to vary from cook to cook.
This is the method that I found gives me the results I like; lots of toasty flavour, not too sweet, and those little crunchy nuggets that make my yogurt so delicious!
Maple Vanilla Granola
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- 3 c. quick rolled oats – don’t use the instant
- 1 – 1 1/2 c. mixed nuts – whatever your preference
- 1/2 c. mixed seeds – again, whatever your preference or skip them all together
- 1 c. mixed dried fruit – I like blueberries, cranberries and dates
- 1 c. shredded coconut
- 3 Tbsp cinamon
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- kosher salt
1) Get yourself a big bowl. Add the oats, nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut and cinnamon and mix it all around.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla.
3) Add the maple mixture to the bowl of oats, etc and really mix it up (I use my hands).
4) Spread it out on the largest cookie sheet you have. Pop it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
5) This is the somewhat silly part – to make sure that all of your ingredients get nice and toasted, you will need to take it out of the oven every five minutes or so and give it a stir. Pedantic yes, but definitely worth it.
6) When your granola is toasted to your satisfaction, remove from oven, sprinkle with kosher salt (give this a try…the combination of salty and sweet is a definite win) and put your sheet on a rack to cool before popping into an air tight container.