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Finished Product: Maple Walnut Granola

I love a rich, nutty granola. Lucky for me, this tasty meal even meets my resolution requirements! The deep flavor of the antioxidant-rich Grade B Maple Syrup balanced by the earthiness of the walnuts, flax and wheat germ make this a healthy treat on top of Greek yogurt.  I even keep a baggy of this in my glove box for when I get tied up doing errands and my hunger starts to get the better of my good mood. A mason jar filled to the brim with this fibrous treat makes for an excellent hostess gift, too. Long weekend at your friends ski cabin, perhaps? I encourage you also to use the ratios as a guideline to experiment with flavors and textures. For example, pecans substitute nicely for the walnuts and pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, work well in place of sunflower seeds. The sky’s the limit when it comes to dried fruit and a local honey makes for a nice sweetener instead of  maple syrup.

Ingredients: Yields approx 6 cups

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashion oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, grade B
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the old fashioned oats, wheat germ, flax seed, coconut, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir until evenly combined.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the canola oil and maple syrup.  I like to mix these in a 4 cup pyrex pitcher, great for measuring liquids and a clean pour.  Whisk with a small whisk or fork until emulsified (thick and combined).
  • Pour maple syrup mixture on top of oat mixture.  Stir well, until oats are wet and evenly coated. Spread evenly across the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30- 35 minutes until evenly toasted, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before adding cranberries.  Toss to combine and store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Serving Idea: I catered a brunch event last Sunday and served the Maple Walnut Granola in a mini parfait cup with fat free, plain Greek yogurt. I lightly sweetened the yogurt with maple syrup using a 10:1 ratio (yogurt:syrup).  By tying the miniature spoon to the footed cup, this was great for passing, not to mention adorable. This would be a great, healthy menu item for a bridal, baby, or wedding shower!