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Homemade Fruit and Nut Maple Granola

Homemade Fruit and Nut Maple Granola

There is nothing quite like homemade granola as I can now assert with confidence, having finally made my own. It's not something I eat all that often, but it does make for a healthy treat, quick breakfast or travel along snack. Granola is especially delightful served up with a good helping of almond milk or yogurt and topped with fresh berries. It's a fine way to enjoy a generous serving of fiber, protein and essential nutrients too.

The advantages of making your own granola in your own kitchen are many. To begin with, it's less expensive than purchasing packaged granola that too often contain additives and refined sweeteners, that are overly sweet, and that are sometimes rather stale tasting. In addition, it takes hardly anytime at all to prepare a fair-size batch that keeps well if kept in a well-sealed container for a good many weeks. Simply mix up your ingredients and bake at a low temperature for less than an hour. Your kitchen will become wonderfully fragrant and you'll want a few nibbles before the pan is even cool.

Assembling your own also means you have total control of the quality, choice and variety of the mixture. Use whatever combination of grains, nuts, seeds and fruits and sweeteners that suit your fancy. For sweetener, I used maple syrup, a little bit of coconut sugar, and molasses for a deep and earthy, almost smoky flavor. Having a staple supply of nuts and dried fruits on hand makes the possibilities endless. I will likely never purchase store-bought granola again.

Ingredients:
  • 2 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp or flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Instructions:
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 300°.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp or flax seeds, grated coconut, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and salt. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, molasses, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla. Gently heat this mixture over low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the coconut oil and sugar are melted. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the mixture up well, again taking care to spread evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is browned and crisped up. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes and then stir in the dried fruit. Let the granola cool completely before transferring to a well-sealed glass jar for keeping.

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