Thursday, March 15, 2012
Blueberry Maple Granola
Oodles of homemade granola recipes have been popping up in the past few years – I’m sure you’ve noticed! This is not a surprise, since granola made at home is far tastier and healthier than the packaged, store-bought variety. At this point, I’ve tried just about every concoction I can think of and have found myself returning to one granola combination over and over. It’s time to share it with you!
The basis of this recipe comes from our dear family friend, Ralph. Ralph is a master at making crunchy, flavorful granola and when I first sampled a bowl I immediately requested his recipe. Over time, I’ve played around with different oils, sweeteners, nuts, seeds and fruit to make it my own, but have kept the essence of Ralph’s granola.
Oats form the foundation of granola. Ralph first toasts his oats in the oven, which is inspired. Like anything, toasting improves the flavor and fills the kitchen with a heavenly scent (when time permits I like to toast oats before making oatmeal ... mmmm). The warm oats are a canvas on which to add flavors to suit your tastes.
In a large bowl I stir together the oats, maple syrup, a touch of honey, olive oil, pepitas (love the light, crackly texture they add), ground flax seeds, walnuts and a healthy sprinkling of fleur de sel for a salty kick. After baking, a handful of dried blueberries finish off the oatmeal and add a bit more sweetness.
I try to keep a jar of granola on the kitchen counter – a handful is terrific for an after- school snack or to mix with yogurt for breakfast. Our new morning indulgence is a breakfast banana split ... scoops of yogurt grace a split banana and are topped with dollops of blueberry jam and sprinkled with granola (inspired by The Kitchn). A scrumptious morning treat!
Blueberry Maple Granola
Adapted from Ralph’s Crunchy Granola
Makes 4 1/2 cups
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free for a gluten-free option)
1/3 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaky sea salt
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.
In a large bowl, whisk together the syrup, honey, olive oil, vanilla and fleur de sel. Stir in the oats and mix to coat. Add the pepitas, ground flax seeds and walnuts and gently mix.
Spread the mixture on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Stir the granola halfway through the baking time, being sure to get the corners. Remove from the oven and let cool. Mix in the dried blueberries. Store the granola in an airtight container within easy reach for snacking.