Crunchy Like Granola

I go through periods of being cereal obsessed. And my girls are definitely cereal lovers. When given a choice between French toast and cereal the other morning, I had one throw a fit over not having her bowl of goodness. On the scale of bad things to eat, I think this is fairly benign. We eat grown-up cereal that is high on fiber and low on sugar. The girls know nothing of highly dyed character laden bowls of fluff and I plan on keeping it that way.  I do like to think I feed us a fairly healthy diet, but I’m not ready to become a WAP family just yet.

Fresh and ready for snacking. I love the texture of the clusters.

Lately I’ve been craving granola. Oh granola. I love the crunch, the stuff inside, how it makes fresh fruit and yogurt a dessert for breakfast. But I don’t like most store made granola. They tend to be very sweet and higher in fat than I want for breakfast. Because, like many women of a certain age, I count those things. The granola I do love is kind of expensive for how long it lasts in my house. So what to do, what to do? Ask Twitter for a recipe, of course.

There are probably enough granola recipes out there to match every single granola eater with a personalized bowl. So what’s one more? My friend Mark sent me a recipe from a vegan cookbook. The page had two recipes and I couldn’t choose between the two, so I smooshed them together, added barley malt powder and threw the whole mess in the oven. And now I can’t stop eating it. I’ve also come to understand that granola is the casserole of cereals. I’ve added various nuts, seeds, spices to each batch to come up with something a little tweaked to fit my mood that week. But I keep the barley malt and maple syrup. The maple has a subtle sweetness and the barley malt adds a depth of flavor, along with some extra stick so the granola chunks up well. The lack of clusters has been my complaint with homemade granola in the past.

Pan roasted peaches with Greek yogurt and granola. Is this really breakfast?

I’ve enjoyed this with all the fresh summer fruit: plums and berries, peaches and nectarines. As the growing season turns to fall, I’m thinking of roasting apples the night before and making a heavenly cinnamon-scented breakfast for the coming chilly mornings.

This is so good, it might make it into my gift rotation this year.

Malted Maple Granola

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rolled Oats (thick if you can get them)
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 tablespoons Malted Barley Powder
  • 2/3 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2/3 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1-2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Dump everything into a large bowl and stir.
  3. Make sure the oil and syrup coat the oat mixture evenly.
  4. Spread out on a half sheet pan or two 9x13 cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Granola will be golden brown when done.
  6. Let cool and add dried fruit if so desired. Store in an airtight container.
  7. Makes about 8 cups.

Adapted from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer.

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