This year I have some friends and family that are leaning a little more towards the healthy side. Some people are overwhelmed with too many cookie platters while others are avoiding wheat or sugar. Some treats need to be shipped, which requires something a little more sturdy and also with a longer shelf life. This Maple Baked Granola met all the requirements and it turned out to be the perfect recipe.
This is a hearty energy-boosting granola packed with oats, nuts, seeds and fruit. This granola is sweetened with honey and maple syrup and packs just the right amount of sweetness. Any combination of berries could be used, but I opted to use only dried cranberries in favor of the holiday season. This turned out to be my all-time favorite granola recipes. I really love the addition of the sunflower and sesame seeds and the added flavor and crunch they bring to the mix. Also, the ratio of everything is just all around perfect and I even ended up with a few yummy "clusters" of granola (those big clusters are my favorite).
This is a festive looking granola and it certainly looks very pretty all dressed up in a mason jar with a big ribbon. It is delicious on it's own, a delight served over yogurt, and a very satisfying breakfast with a little milk poured on top. Leave the cookie baking to someone else and stir up some granola today!
Maple Baked Granola
Adapted from Diana Henry via The Telegraph
Makes about 12-15 servings, depending
2 teaspoons oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut)*
125 ml (4-1/2 ounces) maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds*
scant cup sliced almonds
scant cup dried berries*
1/2 cup coconut flakes
Note: I opted to use coconut oil in the granola since I was using coconut flakes, but vegetable oil or canola oil would work just as well. You can add any kind of dried berries, or a mixture of dried berries, but I opted to use only dried cranberries since I wanted to make a season holiday-inspired granola. Also, I didn't have pumpkin seeds on hand so I replaced them with walnuts.
Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla until combined. Add the oats. seeds, and nuts into the bowl and stir until the mixture is evenly coated. Place onto a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 15 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and stir. Add the dried berries and coconut flakes and bake for another 12-15 minutes. Let granola cool completely before sealing in an airtight jar.
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