Have you learned any good food (or health) lessons lately? I recently learned not to step on the scale first thing on a holiday morning. Yup, that got Mother’s Day brunch scratched right off my list.
But instead I made Maple Vanilla Granola. So maybe do step on the scale–it could lead to something tasty!
The granola I make is a little different from many standard commercial varieties. It is less chunky (those chunks always make me think of candy), more oat-y (based on the first “granola” I loved), and with less of a toasted flavor (since I was trying to help the maple and vanilla flavors come through). Now speaking of the first granola I loved…
When I was a college student, I spent a semester studying in Dublin, and lived with an Irish family. One of my first surprises was that breakfast would be cold cereal and not one of the hearty Bed and Breakfast meals with sausage, eggs, bacon, and soda bread. They don’t eat a giant breakfast every day??? Yes, what was I thinking…
Problem was, I have never been a cold cereal fan. So a daily dose of cornflakes (or rice krispies for a special treat) was going to be a challenge. Consulting with some other American students, I found a solution. Top the cereal with sprinkles of Muesli, available in the grocery store, and problem solved!
Never heard of Muesli? Per Foodsite Magazine, “the difference between muesli and granola is simple. While both are composed of pure grains, fruit, seeds and nuts, muesli is not cooked and is usually soaked in milk or other liquid. Granola is mixed with oil and sweetener and baked before packaging.” Because my recipe is sweetened and baked, it is technically a granola (as I suspect was my Irish “Muesli”), but the fact that it is has a lot of oatmeal and is cooked on low brings it closer to Muesli than many varieties of granola.
Now the other great thing about making homemade maple vanilla granola (or other flavor of your choice) is the cost savings, plus super natural ingredients and the ability to control what you include. For example, I love dried fruit in some things, but granola isn’t one of them–and if you prefer hazelnuts to almonds, just make the switch. With prep time under 10 minutes it is faster than a run to the grocery store!
- • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- • 2 c oatmeal, old-fashioned
- • 1/2 c slivered almonds
- • 3T (packed) golden brown sugar
- • 1/4 t salt
- • 1/8 t ground cinnamon
- • 2 T coconut oil (or other oil)
- • 1/4 cup maple syrup
- • 1 1/2 T vanilla extract
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Melt coconut oil (if using) and add oil, maple syrup and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Toss to combine.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, then spread out granola mixture. Bake at 225 for about an hour until no longer damp, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely then store in airtight container.
- If you prefer a more toasted flavor bake at 300 until golden brown, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes.
- Serving size is approximately 1/3 cup (a light serving of cereal but more than you'd use to top yogurt)