For a nutritious early morning treat, make this naturally sweetened nutty maple granola. This granola satiates with nut proteins and fats, while giving your sweet tooth a fix. Naturally, homemade maple granola has become a regular when it comes to our breakfast and snack rotation. Granola has high amounts of fiber, protein and natural fats to put your digestive system on a good start. Sweetened only by maple syrup, this recipe can easily become a versatile pantry snack for your family.
Making granola with my toddler has been a safe and fun way to involve him in the food making process. Giving my son the gift of cooking will hopefully serve great dividends in our time together and his future years. In the meantime, we practice pouring, scooping, dumping and stirring. Egg cracking? We’re not quite there yet…
Sourcing Dried Fruit and Nuts Economically
Nuts and dried fruits tend to run on the higher end of things when it comes to cost. Purchasing small amounts for specific recipes can add up, but buying in bulk and storing nuts and fruits properly makes cooking and snacking readily available inexpensively.
Many grocery stores, as well as health food stores, now have bulk food sections which allow you to make purchases by weight. When sourcing your fruits and nuts, look for organic and unsalted options. For nuts, search for bulk options from the bulk section, Costco or Azure Standard at around .76 cents an ounce or less.
To store your bulk purchases, store in airtight containers or sealed in the freezer to prevent spoilage.
Activating Nuts for Granola
Nuts and seeds are a great source of natural fats and proteins – but there’s one catch: enzyme inhibitors. Like beans and grains, nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting, but also prevent proper digestion and absorption of their total benefits. Eating these foods as they are don’t cause any health issues, but activating the enzyme inhibitor during the cooking process allows for an increase in health benefits when eating.
When I can remember ahead of time, I do my best to soak things like nuts or oats overnight in cool water and some salt. Oats can be cooked into oatmeal from their soaked state but nuts will need a drying or dehydrating period before use.
The salt acts as the enzyme inhibitor activator for nuts and seeds, while grains and beans will need an acidic activator like vinegar or lemon juice. If you want to hear more about it, read from my homesteading idol, Shaye Elliott HERE or, take a deep dive by reading “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.
6 cups of oats
1 TB of salt
1 cup of sliced almonds
½ cup of pecans, walnuts & pepitas
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 TB of cinnamon
½ cup of coconut oil
1 cup of maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Optional: Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
1 egg white
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Mix all of the dry ingredients – oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas, cinnamon and salt.
- In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup and oil until it bubbles
- Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and add the vanilla
- Combine the syrup mixture with the dry ingredients. If you would like to have granola that holds together in clumps, add in 1 egg white to the mixture at this point
- Spread out your mixture evenly on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and pat down to stick together
- Cook at 300 degrees for 40 minutes. Add coconut at this point, if adding, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 14 days.
Ways to Use Naturally Sweetened Granola
- Smoothie bowls: combine frozen bananas, berries, a pinch of spinach and chia seeds to a blender and add a small amount of work. Start with less milk and add a little at a time so you have a spoonable texture. Place in a bowl and top with sliced bananas and granola. Check out our favorite stainless steel bowls for snacks and mealtimes HERE.
- Yogurt: Take your favorite plain yogurt, and mix in a tablespoon of homemade jam or honey. Top with granola and sliced fruit!
- Banana peanut butter bowls: Chop a banana, add a spoonful of peanut butter, mix it around and add your granola.
- Texture for oatmeal: Top apple cinnamon or berry oatmeal with some homemade granola.
- Apple slices with nut butter: Coat slices of apples with nut butter and honey and roll in granola for an afternoon snack.
- Homemade trail mix: Supplement granola by adding raisins, chocolate chips, banana chips and other dried fruits for a hike ready snack.
- Peanut butter bites: Mix 1 cup of granola with ½ cup of peanut butter and ¼ cup of honey and shape into rounds or press into small cupcake tins.
Granola from Your Wooden Spoons
I already know that this recipe will grow on your and your taste buds. You will tweak it with a dash of extra nutmeg, or throw in flaxseeds in a pinch. You will find a deal in a bulk section and overhaul the recipe completely. Your child will prefer dried golden raisins to cranberries and coconut. But that is what makes “homemade” the best. It meets your tastes, your economic means, and your understanding of what’s good and best for your family. Cheers to that, friend.
If you’re looking for a bit more inspiration in recipe form, or want to read more about what comes from our wooden spoons specifically, make sure you check out our favorite “5 Best Every Day Cookbooks for Home Cooks”.
Once you have changed up the recipe, feel free to let us know your preferences in the comments below!