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Homemade Granola

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For a couple of weeks now, my quest for a healthy breakfast has made me hanker for homemade granola. During my university days, I used to make big batches of this cereal to fuel me on the long, book-laden walk to campus. These days, I need fuel for the long, snow-laden paths begging to be shoveled.

Ah, yes, homemade granola. Hadn’t thought of that in years. What a great idea. I’ll make a big batch and blog about it. Won’t everyone be surprised by this crunchy blast from the past.

Within days of this brainstorm, Cheryl Sternman Rule had posted not one, but two recipes. And when I caught up on my backlog of Bitten posts? To my surprise, Mark Bittman had recently covered granola, too. So much for originality. Some will call me a copy cat, but I prefer to think of myself as being psychically attuned to the food-vibes.

After comparing the modern takes against my 20-year-old recipe, I was struck by how similar, yet different, granola can be. While exotic dried fruits, like cherries or apricots, have replaced the classic raisins, the basic recipe still revolves around oats, coconut and nuts. Only the fat content vacillates wildly. My original recipe calls for a whole cup of melted butter. Cheryl uses 1/2 cup canola oil and Bittman adds no fat at all.

So, riding the coat tails of other granola bloggers, here is my updated version. I added no fat since the coconut flakes and nuts are naturally oily. I like to use the biggest coconut flakes possible since they add a tender texture and don’t get stuck in my teeth. I’ve never seen this type of coconut in the grocery store, but feel it’s worth the trip to the bulk specialty shop. (In Guelph, you can get this at The Flour Barrel downtown. I haven’t seen it anywhere else, so if you know of other places, please drop me a note.)

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While this recipe won’t clump like my butter-laced version, it tastes just as good. Besides, the fat omission means I can have a cookie or two without guilt.

Ya. Like that’s ever stopped me.

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Homemade Maple Granola
Printable Recipe

Makes about 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats* (do not use quick-cooking or instant)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (you can use any nut you like, but I’m a walnut fan and it goes well with maple)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup flax seeds (or sesame seeds)
  • 3/4 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut (big flakes like in the photo)
  • 2 cups Thompson or flame raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 325°F.
  2. Combine oats, nuts, and seeds.
  3. Mix cinnamon, vanilla and salt into the maple syrup. Pour maple syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to evenly coat.
  4. Spread granola on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. In the meantime, toast the coconut on the stovetop over medium heat in a dry frying pan. The flaked coconut burns very quickly and this ensures a more even cooking.
  6. When the granola is golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and empty into a large bowl.
  7. Toss the hot granola with the toasted coconut flakes and raisins.
  8. When cool, store in an airtight container.

* This recipe is gluten-free if you buy oats marked gluten-free. Many commercial oats contain gluten from cross-contamination during processing.

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15 Responses to Homemade Granola

  1. Dana McCauley January 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Looks and sounds delish!

  2. cheryl January 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Funny, I had my granola post prepped last week when I saw Bittman’s blog, too. We’re all constantly and inadvertently scooping each other. No matter! The more granola the better so far as I’m concerned.

    I’d love to hear about how the texture of the oil-free version compares with my (apparently super-oily!) version. I assumed that the fat in the oil would insulate the sweetener (honey/syrup) and prevent it from burning, but there doesn’t look anything burnt about yours at all!

  3. Christie's Corner January 20, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    Dana, it is dee-lish. A little too much so. I have to stop myself from snacking on it.

    Cheryl, I swear, there’s a psychic connection amongst foodies. SPOILER ALERT: upcoming posts on yogurt, vegan chili and fruit crumble.

    My oil-free version is very crunchy, but I have a high ratio of nuts and seeds to oats, so the natural oil content is very high. I also cooked it all in one pan so the heat didn’t penetrate as quickly. And… 3/4 cup maple syrup isn’t that much when spread over 7 cups of cereal.

    Man, if your mere 1/2 cup of canola is “super-oily” what would they say about my 1 cup of butter version?

  4. Kris January 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Mm. I’ve been making granola here, too, though I use honey rather than maple syrup. I may have to give your recipe a whirl!

  5. Donna Hull January 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    I’ve never made granola but I’ll be trying your version, especially since you’ve eliminated most of the fat.

  6. Julie January 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    Apparently I’m on a totally different wave-length because I don’t think I’ve ever made granola. And in fact, I very rarely eat granola, but all of this looks so good I’m thinking that I should be paying more attention to granola.

  7. Christie's Corner January 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Kris, I use maple syrup because it’s very liquid and coats the ingredients nicely. I’d love to know how it compares to your honey version.

    Donna, homemade granola is incredibly easy. I love that you don’t even have to measure precisely. Let me know how it turns out for you.

    Julie, I don’t really like store brands because they’re too sweet and the raisins are like leather. But my homemade is half way to trail mix, which appeals to my taste buds. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  8. Donna in Olympia January 29, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Charmian your granola is fabulous we both love it. No wonder you ate it for supper the other night !

  9. Christie's Corner January 30, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Donna from Olympia, thanks so much for the feedback! I’m so glad you liked the granola. I can’t believe I haven’t made it in 20 years. What was I thinking?

  10. Emily February 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    When I was browsing blogs looking for a great homemade granola recipe, yours really caught my eye! The recipe sounds amazing! I just recently learned how to make granola and I posted my very simple recipe on my blog-check it out! I really like the idea of adding maple syrup because I think it would really intensify the flavor of the granola. I have a major sweet tooth and I would probably devour the entire batch of this granola in a day or two! My recipe includes honey which is also delicious. I really like how you made a recipe that doesn’t call for oil and butter-less to buy and much healthier! I think the addition of pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds is very interesting. I also enjoy a lot of crunch so I am going to try this next time. Your recipe calls for walnuts and I would suggest trying almonds or hazelnuts if you are looking to switch it up a bit. Do you find that using sweetened coconut makes the granola too sweet? What exactly are flame raisins? Thanks so much for posting this recipe-I really enjoy your blog!

  11. Christie's Corner February 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    Emily, I’m glad the recipe appeals to you. I like your suggestion to mix up the nuts with hazelnuts or almonds.

    I like my granola less sweet so prefer unsweetened coconut. But the beauty of granola is you can tinker with it to suit your tasted.

    As for flame raisins? They’re raisins made from flame grapes. They’re very big and sweet, so that’s another reason not to use sweetened coconut.

    Hope your granola turns out well.

  12. Lizzie May 9, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    This is great. I added 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tbs of oil, 2TBS of honey and 2 tbs of water to help it get some larger chunks.

  13. Christie's Corner May 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Lizzie, what a great idea! I like chunkier granola and will give this a try next time, which should be sometime this weekend (time permitting). Thanks so much for taking the time to post your variation. Can’t wait to try this.

  14. Kori December 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    This granola recipe sounds great! I love adding coconut whenever I make it too, so I’ll have to give this a try!

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