Salted Maple Granola

Hello dear ones and happy January.

I know it has been a dark start to the new year and an extremely difficult past week. And I know it feels like right when we all thought we were finally going to get a little bit of a break from constantly holding our breath, we’re now experiencing quite the opposite. I personally feel so frustrated and powerless about recent events that I can hardly handle it.

But despite it all, I hope you are well. I hope you are taking care of yourselves and paying attention when you can. I hope you are eating delicious things and trying to unpack your role in working through this madness.

Instead of trying to spend too much time here unpacking my own feelings, what I have to offer you as we head into this new year is a simple, nourishing recipe to help make starting your days a little bit brighter and a little bit easier.

I don’t know if there’s any better way to start my day then with a big bowl of Salted Maple Granola. It is my all-time favorite granola recipe. And yes, it is the one I’ve teased a least a dozen times on Instagram over the past couple weeks because it’s easily the thing being made the most in my kitchen lately.

I make a batch every week or two and eat it with yogurt and fig jam (my current obsession), eat it with blueberries, or eat it with some cashew milk and sliced banana. The salty sweet combination lends itself to pretty much any direction you want to go.

Making granola is incredibly simple. All you need is some oats, a sweetener (we almost exclusively use maple syrup in our household), a fat (butter, oil, whatever you like will do the trick), some fun healthy add-ins (we experiment a lot here working with different nuts and seeds that we have on hand, but I’ve discovered my favorite is definitely pecans, pepitas and sesame seeds), an oven, a spatula and a baking sheet.

Now that I’ve learned how easy it is to make granola at home, I’m actually embarrassed to admit how long we purchased mediocre store-bought granola. For some reason I thought it was something difficult to get right. So I put up with only liking one kind of one brand of granola at the store and stocking up whenever it was on sale for far too long– even though I always felt guilty about the excess plastic (we would easily go through a bag a week) and the excess sugar (store-bought granola can sneak in a LOT of sugar).

We ran out of granola back in August when the farm was chaotically busy and I was avoiding a trip to the grocery store at all costs. I began experimenting with different flavors and ingredients, and learning granola is something we all, most definitely, be making at home. More control over flavor, less plastic, less additives, and less sugar. Seriously, what’s not to love.

You can find my absolute favorite granola recipe below, but feel free to experiment with the ingredients: perhaps substituting honey for syrup, coconut oil for olive, and some different nuts and seeds. Whatever you do, just try to keep the ratios similar and do not increase the oven temperature. A slow bake does granola well. A fast one tends to burn the sugar.

Enjoy my friends! Let this granola nourish you through the rest of this snowy January. In the meantime, I hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Much love,
Leek

SALTED MAPLE GRANOLA

Makes 5 cups

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup pepitas
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, combine oats, 1/2 cup maple syrup, and 1/2 cup olive oil, using a spatula to ensure oats are well-coated before placing in oven.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and use a spatula to gently turn and rotate mixture.
  4. Bake 10 minutes longer then add pecans, pepitas and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with remaining maple syrup and olive oil. Toss well to combine.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, until nuts are well toasted and granola is browned.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for an hour before breaking apart and storing.
  7. Serve with yogurt, fruit and a drizzle of your favorite sweetener.

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