Recipes, Vegetarian
Comments 26

Almond maple granola recipe with cranberries and raisins

Homemade almond maple granola

It takes only a few minutes to stir up a delicious batch of this crunchy, wholesome, homemade granola and pop it in the oven. Careful! If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself taking one “taste test” after another!

The base, ready to mix: Oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, almonds

The base, ready to mix: Oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, almonds

Slow roasting the oats, almonds and other goodies makes this homemade granola extra tasty

Slap your hand if you find yourself taste-testing a fourth time, because as good as it is raw, the secret oomph in this granola comes from the slow roasting.

This is an all-organic recipe

Because it’s healthier that way, and so we know exactly what is in our food–no GMOs, no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, and no calories! (Just kidding on that last bit.)

Most recipes use a higher oven temperature and shorter cooking time, turning only once. Trust Food Network’s Alton Brown to come up with a better way.

With Alton’s method, the oats, nuts and seeds are toasty-crunchy on the outside, slightly tender inside, the sugars caramelized, not burnt. I slow-roast mine like he does, with the ingredients my family loves, and I cannot keep it on the shelf.

Step by step, in pictures

You’ll find the recipe below, but first, the step-by-step photos. I like pictures, don’t you? Here, in photos, see just how easy it is to save money over store-bought brands, control the sugar and fat, and get the taste you want in your granola. Of course, you can change up the goodies. These are the ones we like best.

In a deep bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and almonds.

Mixing the almonds, seeds, coconut and cinnamon

Mixing the almonds, seeds, coconut and cinnamon

Then whisk up the syrup mixture.

Whisk the salt into the liquid ingredients until dissolved

Whisk the salt into the liquid ingredients until dissolved

Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and nuts and stir to combine.

Pouring the syrup mixture over the oat combo

Pouring the syrup mixture over the oat combo

Line two baking sheets with baker’s parchment and divide the mixture between them. Bake in an oven preheated to 350° Fahrenheit (F), and reduced to 250° upon popping in the trays. I’ve found that this initial heat helps retain more heat as you open and close the oven door over the next while. Perhaps it has something to do with getting the interior walls plenty hot.

Bake for one and a quarter hours, turning every fifteen minutes. Here you see one of the trays, after the first fifteen minute bake, awash in sunshine. Living in droughty California, we were as grateful last week for the sunny break as we are today for a new wave of El Nino rain.

Half the mixture spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Half the mixture spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Roast until the mixture reaches toasty, golden, can’t-wait-to-taste goodness. My little iPhone doesn’t quite capture the beauty of the slightly caramelized coconut and oats. I wish you could catch a whiff of this mapley-coconuty-oaty-nutty scent!

Roasted, toasted granola ready for the last goodies

Roasted, toasted granola ready for the last goodies

In the last fifteen minutes, while the oat mixture bakes, measure out the dried fruit, slightly less than half a cup each.

Cranberries and raisins, ready to add the roasted granola mixture

Cranberries and raisins, ready to add the roasted granola mixture

Dump the fresh-roasted granola back into your big mixing bowl and add the cranberries and raisins while it’s still hot. Their sugars like the heat and help spread a little of their flavor throughout the mix. Incidentally, that’s what I do when turning the granola too–just dump it back into the bowl, give it a quick turn and spread it onto the pan again. Easy peasy.

Mixing the dried cranberries and raisins into the still-hot granola

Mixing the dried cranberries and raisins into the still-hot granola

Get out the bowls! Your granola is ready to eat! Here’s the recipe.

A YayYay's Kitchen Recipe

Maple Almond Granola Recipe with Cranberries and Raisins

It’s the deep caramelization that makes this granola superior tasting to anything we’ve tried. Bringing out the natural sugars in the ingredients makes it easy to use less sweet stuff in the mix, too. In fact, today I use about half the dried fruit I did three or four years ago.

Time and such

  • Servings: 16 one-cup servings
  • Prep time: 15 minutes or less if your young hands are faster than my old ones
  • Bake time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Total time: 1-1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Oven temp: 350º F, then 250° F

Ingredients:

  • 4 C thick-cut rolled oats
  • 1 -1/4 C whole almonds
  • 1/4 C raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 C shredded or flaked coconut (we prefer the flaked)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • Scant 1/3 C canola oil
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • Scant 1/2 C raisins
  • Scant 1/2 C dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine first five ingredients and set aside.
  3. Whisk together oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth and salt completely dissolved.
  4. Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Line two cookie sheets with baking parchment and divide the mixture evenly between them.
  6. Reduce heat to 250° F and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes.
  7. To assure even roasting, each time you stir, place the cookie sheets on alternate racks, so the cookie sheet that was on top is now on the bottom.
  8. Remove from oven, pour into large bowl, add raisins and cranberries and mix well.
  9. Store in airtight canister.

Serve with nut or dairy milk, or with plain vegan or regular yogurt. We prefer homemade yogurt or a local brand made with milk from grass-pastured cows. Sometimes I make creamy Greek-style yogurt to go with our granola. It’s uber easy!

Breakfast!
(Or snack time)

Heck, we even eat this for dinner some nights. When we’re too tired to cook, or just don’t feel like a larger meal, a cup of granola and half a cup of homemade almond, cashew or coconut milk, or a couple of spoonfuls of our favorite yogurt makes a lovely, light supper.

Orange juice and half a cup of our Maple Almond Granola over half a cup of plain yogurt from grass-fed, pastured cows

Orange juice and half a cup of our Maple Almond Granola over half a cup of plain yogurt from grass-fed, pastured cows

People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. They also have lower cholesterol levels.

Whole Grains Council

Do you/are you granola?

When I was young, I steadfastly refused to make granola–for a long, long time. Until I came up with this recipe, I could deny that I was “a (hippie) granola” mama. Now of course, I’m just fine being a Granola Granny. Time changes us all. What about you? Are you a granola? Even if you aren’t, how do you like the stuff?

♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Readers: If you think you’ve seen this recipe before, you may well have. In August 2011, as a writer on the now-defunct site Squidoo, I first published this recipe under the user name graceonline. In August 2014, HubPages, where I am known as ecogranny, bought Squidoo. I opted to have my Squidoo pages, including this recipe, transferred to the new site. Now, in March 2016, I’ve brought it home–to YayYay’s Kitchen.

26 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Friday 5: Real food recipes #8 | YayYay's Kitchen

  2. Sharon L. Grace says

    I made my first granola recipe today, and it tastes marvelous! I have 3 questions:

    How long do you let it cool before you put it in air tight containers?
    Do you mix it up while still on the cookie sheets each time, or do you put it in a bowl to mix it up?
    I tend to pat the mix down as I spread the mix onto the cookie sheet. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t pat it down?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the questions Sharon. I let it cool completely before packing it away, but pack as soon as cool, to keep it fresh.

      When stirring during the roasting process, I find it easier to pour the mixture back into the big mixing bowl, using the parchment paper as a funnel, give it all a good stir, then dump it out on the parchment-lined trays again.

      When roasting, you want as much heat and air flow around the individual components as possible, so I keep the mixture loose.

      Terrific questions. Thank you!

      Like

  3. Hi Kathryn,
    I love this recipes. Sounds so tasty and filled with health – what a great snack. It sounds simple to make and I love the idea of added the cranberries – they always add a extra zest to any granola snack.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sharon L. Grace says

    The smell of this baking granola is delectable and makes me think “dessert”. The mapley crunch with our St. Benoit plain yogurt is my favorite breakfast, snack, lite dinner. Truly, one of my all time favorite recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love making granola at home. This combination sounds really good! And baking at low temperature seems like a lovely idea- the flavors may develop a lot better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Kathryn, this granola looks amazing! A question for you: Do you think I could omit the oil and still have it turn out? I have to avoid added oils for the most part (they trigger breast pain for me). But I’d still love to make this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand. We cook with less and less oil, but I haven’t tried going without in this recipe–yet! The only way we’ll know for sure is to give it a try. I’ll make a new batch soon–without oil–and report on what happens. Stay tuned!

      Like

  7. I’ve made granola for years, following in my own mom’s foot steps (she was the first ‘granola’ in my life). Like you, we always add any dried fruit after the baking is done (failure to do so just results in their natural sugars burning to bitter yuckiness, doesn’t it?).

    I’ve never seen this low and slow process, but being a lover of all things Alton, I will give it a go! Thanks for the tip.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You really caught me on this one, K. I have Meuseli (sp) on the top of my shopping list. I usually get the one on sale at Sprouts, but it isn’t nearly as decadent as yours, and I have everything on hand. So that’s my next project. Can almost smell it now. Thanks for the recipe and tempting photos, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

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