As a child, breakfast was not my favorite meal. Some kids prefer mounds of pancakes, but my go-to breakfast was a tiny package of granola clusters. Simple and enjoyable to make, homemade granola reminds me of those school day breakfasts while having all the flavors that satisfy my adult cravings.
When you are in the mood for a crunchy, flavorful treat in the morning or just need a fast, healthy breakfast or snack, granola is a great option. With plenty of pure maple syrup and the perfect blend of salty and sweet, this recipe makes a complete breakfast all on its own, but it also works well as a topping for yogurt or fruit salad. Make it on a lazy Sunday, and your week will be a lot easier.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans coarsely chopped
½ cup toasted wheat germ
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
If you share my preference for granola clusters, I recommend pulsing 1 cup of the oats until they are a combination of small pieces and oat powder. The other 2 cups should be lightly pulsed so that they remain mostly whole. This helps the ingredients to stick together and form some crunchy clusters as the granola bakes. Another trick is to avoid spreading the unbaked granola too think on the pan.
For the best color and texture, I prefer to bake granola low and slow. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the oats, pecans, wheat germ, coconut, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and salt in a medium bowl.
Now for the delicious maple flavor. Whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are coated. Spread the unbaked granola on your pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring at the halfway point.
Allow the granola to cool on the pan, break into pieces, and enjoy. Simple and delicious.