Superfood Maple Granola

Superfood Maple Granola

Superfood Maple Granola

Speaking of superfoods: I also made a Superfood Maple Granola recently.  Seeing as granola is both a cereal/snack food and a catch-all adjective for all things hippie-crunchy-counterculture-alternative, it’s only fitting to ride the progressive superfood wave on a bin of homemade granola.  And it’s totally addictive.  My mother and I recently stood around her kitchen counter eating it straight from the container.  But it’s just as good — and perhaps more civilized — eaten out of a bowl with vanilla yogurt, milk, soymilk, coconut milk.  Whatever your favorite, pour it on and bask in the knowledge that you’re eating some really healthy stuff.  Go ahead.  Be smug.  Feel superior.  I won’t tell.

This granola uses the same super seeds as the Superfood Morning Glory Muffins.  Once you’ve purchased the pricey little buggers, it’s nice to have more than one go-to recipe that uses them.  But feel free to change them up, depending on what you have.  And change up the dried fruits and nuts, too, if you like.  This version is a cherry-pecan granola, but the potential variations are endless.  I use coconut oil here for its added health benefits, and because I have some in my pantry.  But you can replace the coconut oil with whatever oil you prefer, if you prefer.  Not surprisingly, butter is darned good in this granola.  But it’s decidedly less “super.”  Surely the chia seeds are super enough to make up for it?  In any case, the choice is yours.

Butter or oil, super or not, this granola is delicious, and, as it makes 8 cups, it’s a great breakfast when you have company in the house.  As we look forward to our family descending upon our little home — in a good way — for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ll be preparing batch upon batch of this stuff for our holiday breakfasting.  And speaking of holidays, this granola also makes a great gift.  Several years ago, when I was living on meager grad school fellowships, I gifted everyone in my family a mason jar full of granola and one full of my signature Hot Fudge.  Rejoicing commenced.  Fortunately for holiday hostessing and gifting, this recipe is very easily doubled.  Just be sure to spread it between two pans for baking.

So eat super, and rejoice.  Here is the recipe:

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SUPERFOOD MAPLE GRANOLA

3 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 c. almonds

1/2 c. pecans

1/2 c. grapenuts cereal

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. shredded coconut

2 tbsp. wheat germ

2 tbsp. wheat bran

2 tbsp. chia seeds

2 tbsp. flax seeds

2 tbsp. hemp seeds

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 c. dried cherries

1/2 c. raisins

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Preheat the oven to 325-degrees.

The dry ingredients.

The dry ingredients.

In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, grapenuts, almonds, pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and bran, hemp/flax/chia seeds, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  NOTE: The dried fruit is not added until the end of the baking time.  Do not add it here.  The fruits will turn to burned little nuggets in the oven.  Trust me.  I know from unfortunate experience.

Note also that there are six total tablespoons of super seeds.  If you use a different combination of seeds, aim for six total tablespoons.  Unless you use only one kind, in which case I would cut back on the total amount lest the granola be taken over by the flavor and texture of a single kind of seed.

Stir in the wet ingredients.

Stir in the wet ingredients.

Add the oil, syrup, and vanilla.  Stir until everything is thoroughly combined and evenly damp.  This is not a super sticky granola.  It may seem as though there is not enough moisture.  But I find that this is just enough to get everything toasty and flavorful.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Spread the granola on a sheet pan, press into an even layer, and bake for 30 minutes.

Add the fruits.

Add the fruits.

After 30 minutes, the granola should be toasty-brown.  Give it a gentle stir, scraping from the bottom but being careful not to break up any clumps.  Add the dried fruits, fold them gently into the granola.  Bake for another 8 minutes.

Et voila.

Et voila.

Remove the granola from the oven.  Let it cool in the pan.  Store it in an airtight container.  This makes 8 cups, so you’ll need a big container.

Happy super eating, my crunchy granola friends.

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