Serves (makes a batch) VG, V, DF, GF* (buy GF oats)
I’ve never been a fan of granola, probably because I’ve always found it way too sugar-filled. Recently though, my daughter started making some (proud Mama moment), which inspired me to do the same!
With a combination of oats, nuts and seeds, granola should technically be quite a healthy food. It certainly enjoys a reputation as a health food.
In reality, most packaged brands of granola are full of refined sugar and inflammatory vegetable oils (like sunflower or canola oil).
We want to avoid both of these ingredients as often as possible, because the excess sugar has a too-rapid impact on blood sugar levels, mood and energy levels. The vegetable fats have an overall inflammatory effect on the body which over time contributes to almost every chronic illness and condition you can name.
That said, we can find plenty of fats and sugars from non-refined sources, like the maple syrup, nut and seeds in this granola. These which contain unrefined natural sugars and fats, with fewer negative health effects and in fact, given their higher nutrient content, they actually add health value. Win.
Before I share the recipe, you may also ask what is the difference between granola and muesli?
There are a few.
Muesli is generally raw, while granola is roasted. Both have pros and cons. Muesli often has dried fruit added, and granola - sometimes does - but not always.
And granola tends to be higher in sugar, because there is normally some sugar added to sweeten and darken it in the roasting process.
My granola uses pure maple syrup for this purpose.
I love maple syrup because it’s much lower GI than regular sugar. It retains a nice combination of alkalising minerals, and contains its polyphenols that have anti inflammatory benefits as well. While I still recommend minimal amounts of any sugar, a good quality pure maple syrup is a much better choice of sweeter than most.
Here’s how to use it in this delicious Maple Granola.
WHAT YOU NEED
2 cups of plain organic rolled oats
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup crushed mixed raw nuts
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup water
WHAT TO DO:
Heat your oven to 180°C.
Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, then spread the ingredients evenly and sparsely across the tray. Make sure you spread it very well. The granola goes crunchy as it cooks only if there is enough air circulating between all the bits. That’s why we spread this over two trays.
Bake at 160°C for 20 mins until the granola looks nicely browned. If not quite brown, give it another 2 mins or so.
All to cool. Store in an airtight container. This will keep for several weeks when stored correctly.
HOW TO SERVE YOUR GRANOLA:
I love it sprinkled over strewed apples and pears with a little warm almond milk
Use it to top your overnight oats or chia puddings
Add it to plain coconut (or dairy) yoghurt and berries for a great breakfast or snack
Sprinkle on warm porridge in winter
Or just enjoy as is, with a dash of your favourite plant based milk