I've loved granola since I was tiny. I loved it so much that my favorite stuffed animal -- a big-headed gorilla with a green and white ruffled apron -- was named "Granola." I lost the apron years ago but the gorilla is still a part of my life. I passed her onto my two daughters but, sadly, but she is mostly relegated to the bottom of the toy bin these days. Poor girl.
This granola recipe, on the other hand, occupies a prime position on our countertop! We enjoy it daily. Just a little sprinkled on chia seed pudding or atop a big pile of berries is delicious. I tend to not eat a huge amount first thing in the morning, but a few bites of this helps me through school drop off and my morning exercise nicely.
Granola is one of the easiest and cheapest things to make. And once you start making your own it doesn't really make sense to go back to the expensive store bought, overly-sweetened ones. Plus, I'm a purest with granola. I don't want rice puffs, cereal flakes or gogi berries in mine. I just want crispy blend of nuts, seeds, oats and coconut flakes, sweetened with maple syrup.
As written, this recipe is simple and comes out perfectly every time. But this recipe is also very forgiving -- you can spice it up to your heart's content once you get the basics down. I've given exact measurements of everything but when I make it I don't measure ANYTHING. I just loosely pour everything in a big bowl, give it a stir and slide it in the oven. So...... if you don't have coconut oil, use olive oil. If you run out of pecans, use hazelnuts or walnuts. If you want it sweeter, drizzle in more maple syrup. If you like your granola with dried fruit add it on AFTER it cooks and cools (I've done cherries, sliced apricots and cranberries - all good). Riff on this to your heart's content to get the granola that YOU first fell in love with as a child.
A note about the texture. This recipes produces a crispy, piecey granola NOT a chunky, clumpy granola. If you are interested in chunks and clumps you'll want to add in a whisked egg white and stir to combine right before cooking. Press the granola down in the pan before cooking and try to maintain some big clumps when flipping
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
2 cups nuts of choice (almonds, pecans and hazelnuts are my go-tos) roughly chopped
1-2 cups seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame all work well)
I cup coconut flakes (not shredded)
1/2 cup coconut oil (warm it if it is solid)
1/2 cup maple syrup (taste after combining and add more sweetener if you need it)
1 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and thoroughly combine (get in there with your hands if you need to!). Spread granola out onto two large baking sheets and smooth with the back of a spoon so that it lays flat. Bake for 15 minutes and then stir. Bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and very fragrant. Let cool. Add dried fruits and store in a glass mason jar. Enjoy daily!