I have always loved granola. There is something about it that is crunchy and satisfying no matter what is in it. For a long time, I was very intimidated to make my own. I think it was a combination of not wanting to ruin a food I loved, and not finding the right recipe. So many of the recipes I have found online are either “no-bake” (which doesn’t give the same crunchy texture), or full of processed sugars (which are great in some recipes, but not in my morning granola). Well low and behold, I happened across the BEST granola recipe. The first time I made it was for a staff breakfast. I doubled the recipe and was SO glad I did because it went FAST. My favourite part is that I can literally throw whatever I have in the pantry into the mix, and it always turns out great. The original recipe is from The Seasoned Mom (https://www.instagram.com/theseasonedmom) but I have made some little tweaks of my own.
Pictured above: granola with unsalted sunflower seeds, cashews and almond butter
- 4 cup old-fashioned oats (make sure they are not quick-cook)
- ¾ cup wheat germ
- 1 t. salt
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ c. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ – ⅓ cup mix-ins (see below for ideas)
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. I like to use a coconut oil spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, cranberries, coconut and mix-ins. TIP: Pick a bowl you think will fit the ingredients, then use the next size larger. Trust me, when you are stirring everything together you’ll thank me.
- In a small saucepan, mix together salt, sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil, nut butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. Heat until it is all melted and smooth.
- Pour the “sauce” over the dry ingredients and stir well. Make sure all the dry is coated with the wet ingredients. Then, spread onto the pan to bake. TIP FROM THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Use a wooden spoon to gently press together clumps of the oats to get those great crunchy clusters at the end!
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, then pressing down with the spoon again before returning to the oven
- Remove from the oven, and press down with the wooden spoon again to form those clusters, and allow to cool completely before storing granola in an air-tight container. I typically store it in the fridge to keep it fresh, but it can also stay on the counter for about 2 weeks (although ours always gets eaten before that).
Things To Note:
- If you’re like me, you have never purchased wheat germ before. It is very easy to find, usually in the breakfast aisle of the grocery store. It is also a necessary ingredient for adding texture and fibre to the granola. Make sure to store your opened wheat germ in the fridge!
- You can use brown sugar and/or honey instead of the coconut sugar and maple syrup based on your taste preference. I would not recommend white sugar here
- Feel free to sub out the nut butter with a seed butter or even Wow Butter (I have done both for a school-safe alternative)
- This can easily be made nut-free for school by adding more oats, fruit, or seeds as the mix-ins (the original recipe was meant to be nut-free)
- Let me tell you, the mix-ins are where it’s at! I have used everything under the sun! Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cashews, slivered almonds, chia, or this PC Super Seed Mix (https://www.presidentschoice.ca/product/pc-ancient-grains-and-er-seeds-blend/21024184_EA) Truth be told, it’s usually whatever nuts I have in my pantry that I want to get rid of.
- You can sub out the cranberries for raisins or another dried fruit. I’m sure dried papaya or mango would be great! Or you can just omit it completely
- Keep in mind, the more mix-ins you add, the “drier” the granola will be as there won’t be enough sauce to glue it together. Sometimes, I get overzealous and add too many extra things. The granola will still taste great, but you won’t get those crunchy clusters.
I can’t wait to see your granola creations! Tag me on Instagram, or comment with your favourite combo. Let’s mix and match, together!
This is (a delicious) life. Love, Mom.