There are many days where it feels like I am busy all day but get nothing done. The kitchen is a disaster, the toys are everywhere and dinner ends up being sub-par to say the least. We usually end up eating at the counter on the stools because when dinner rolls around, I just couldn’t manage to get the table even partly cleared so we could eat there before Kit starts freaking out from being hangry. I feel like I’ve been trying to clear the kitchen table for weeks and it still has mail, and other detritus all over it.
After the kitchen is cleaned and toys haphazardly thrown into bins I have scattered all over the house, I often make this super simple granola. I make this so that I can feel accomplished at the end of the day. I don’t even eat it for breakfast everyday myself. I make it as a kindness to my husband who is a bit regimental in his morning routine. By making this, my house smells amazing and my husband truly appreciates this little task that I do for him. Just like I appreciate him when he gets up if the baby cries at night. Everyone is happier in our house if this mama can get a full-ish night’s sleep. As a bonus, I do sleep better if my house smells like toasted oats, deep resiny sweetness of maple syrup, and an after note of homemade vanilla.
It seems like granola is a very personal thing these days. Everyone seems to have their own special way that they like it. For me it can’t be too sweet, or have clusters. I also like it baked to a deep golden brown so that it is very crunchy. I don’t always add dried fruit but when I do I prefer something with a bit of tartness, such as cranberries or sour cherries. I once tried cocao nibs but it was awful. They were so bitter that it was as though my granola were peppered with bits of hate. My husband liked the cocao nibs but he also likes hoppy beers and I think they are flavoured with ear wax. Clearly bitter flavours and I don’t get on.
So there you have it. I like my granola to be crunchy, lightly sweetened with a natural sweetener, with a bit of tart dried fruit. I also added all the trendy seeds etc. I could find; I’m looking at you chia, pumpkin, and hemp hearts. I bake my granola at a higher temperature than what I normally see around the interwebs. I can’t really remember why I started doing it that way but I do like my granola deeply toasted.
A crunchy granola lightly sweetened with maple syrup.
5 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 2 cups large flake rolled oats
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- 1/3 cup milled flaxseed
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (preferably medium or dark)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup dried sour cherries or dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. and line a cookie sheet with high sides (1" sides) or a rectangular cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds.
- Pour that mixture onto the pan and bake for 8 minutes.
- While that bakes, melt the butter with the maple syrup in a small saucepan. It will boil a bit as the syrup heats up. When the butter is fully melted, turn off the heat and add the vanilla.
- Measure the milled flaxseed and chia seeds and add them to the large bowl. When the oat mixture has baked for 8 minutes, add it all back to the bowl and mix it with the chia seeds and milled flaxseed. Pour in the syrup and butter mixture and stir to coat everything very well.
- Pour the whole mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, shift the granola around the perimeter to the centre and vice versa with a spatula so that it bakes evenly. Bake for another 12-15 minutes. Check it again to see if the granola at the edges needs to be moved to the centre if it is browning too much. If you think it needs to get a little more golden brown then put it in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes at a time. Once it starts to brown it will go from perfect to too dark quickly, so keep an eye on it.
- When the granola is a nice golden brown, remove it from the oven. After 5 minutes, give it another stir around and continue to let it cool on the pan.
- After 15 minutes or so, pour the granola back into the large bowl and mix in the cranberries or cherries.
- When it is completely cool, pour the granola into an airtight container.