28 February 2012

granola on the go

I was never a huge granola fan. Most store bought granola is full of sugar and additives, with an ingredient list a mile long. It used to be one of those foods that’s hard for me to classify -- it seemed too hearty to eat like cereal; it was kind of like a weird, crumbly trail-mix but not really; it was not quite sweet enough to have as a dessert and if you tried to eat some yogurt and granola instead of the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting in your college’s dining hall, well, you would probably end up having three bowls of granola and then sneaking downstairs later that night to devour any leftover cake. Did that ever happen to anyone else or was it just me?
Anyway, all that was before I discovered homemade granola. Now I can decide the ingredients! And limit the sugar! And make it so delicious I can eat it for breakfast, as a snack, and dessert!
This granola is loaded with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds – a super filling and protein-packed breakfast. It makes my whole apartment (all three rooms if you count the bathroom!) smell like a bakery. The air fills with vanilla, coconut, maple, and savory whole grains. You will find it hard to believe something that good can be so healthy.

6 cups of oats
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of chopped cashews
1 cup of chopped hazelnuts
1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup of raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 ½ cup of dried berries (I used raisins this time, but cranberries and currants work well, and I love dried cherries)
1 cup of dried chopped unsulphured figs, apricots, nectarines, or peaches (This time I used a combination of apricots and peaches)
1 TBL of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of coconut oil
2/3 cup of maple syrup
* Measurements are approximate. If you prefer a higher oats to other ingredients ratio, feel free to scale back the nuts and seeds, or sub in different types. You can use honey instead of maple syrup although I tried this once and found the flavor was much better with maple syrup.

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a few baking trays with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Heat the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract on the oven until melted. Pour over the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix. The granola should be well coated. If necessary, you can add some more maple syrup. Spread evenly on the trays and place in the oven. Stir every 8-10 minutes, paying careful attention to the edges, which have a tendency to brown. The granola should take about 30 minutes to cook, look dry, and be nicely toasted.

It makes the perfect breakfast on the go – we made the parfaits before heading down to visit my cousins and hang out on the beach in Santa Cruz.


  1. This looks really good. I just may start enjoying granola again. Thank you.
    Like the pics too.

  2. looks yummy. like the pics