Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Granola: Variations on a Theme

These days I have a thing for granola. I've been tinkering with a recipe and have made it exactly how I like it. Not too sweet. Plenty of nuts. Loads of fruit. Laden with spices. But I've never been one to eat the same thing all the time. I am far too ensconced in the "live to eat" camp for that. These tastebuds need variety.

So I did a whole research thing to find who's making what kind of granola out there, and now offer up my humble list, using my base recipe:
  • Cardamom Spice (the granola that turned me onto homemade)
  • Mexican Chocolate (ooooh, is it a breakfast food or a dessert?)
  • Pumpkin Pie (I roll with the seasons my friends)
  • Maple Pecan (I am Canadian after all)
  • Apple Butter (Sugar free, with all of the taste)
  • Mulled Cider (Perfect after a walk in snow)
  • Gingerbread (I do love me some ginger)
I'm sure there are many more. The possibilities truly are endless. Change the fruit, change the nuts and you've got something different every time.

Oh, and did I mention I've also perfected the overnight baking method? It's so easy, no wonder I eat it nearly every day!

Hmmm... my stash is almost gone. I think it's a chocolate kinda breakfast time.

If you have a suggestion for something different, I'd love to hear from you.

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Easy Bake Oven Granola
This granola has everything going for it: it’s easy to make; you can change it up for different flavour combinations of spices, nuts and fruits; it’s ridiculously tasty; and so much better for you than store bought. How great is that?!

1/4 cup                                     oil (canola, sunflower, grapeseed)
1/2 cup                                     agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar (or combine)
2 tbsp                                        cinnamon (or spice combination of your choice)
1/2 tsp                                      salt
1 tbsp                                        vanilla
4 cups                                       old fashioned oats
1/2 cup                                     flax or chia seeds
1/2 cup                                     unsweetened coconut (optional)
1-1/2 cups                               pepita seeds
1-1/2 cups                               sliced almonds (or whatever nut and seed combination you choose)
2 cups                                       dried fruit of your choice (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, mixed fruit, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat; set aside. 
In a medium saucepan, heat oil, sweetener, and spieces over medium heat; bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; set aside. 
In a large bowl, combine oats, flax seed, coconut, pepitas and almonds. Pour syrup over the oat mixture and mix until well coated. 
Spread granola mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave closed for another 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Break apart cooled granola and mix with dried fruit.

Other spice combinations:
Cardamom spice:
1 tbsp      cinnamon
2 tsp         ginger powder
1/2 tsp     nutmeg
1/2 tsp     ground cardamom                  

Mexican chocolate:
1/4 cup    cocoa powder
2 tbsp      brown sugar (in addition to honey)
1 tbsp      ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp     cayenne pepper
use dried cherries for a tart taste

Pumpkin pie:
Replace cinnamon with 3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice. Replace almonds with pecans.

Maple Pecan:
Replace the pepitas and almonds with pecans, sweeten with maple syrup.

Apple butter:
Replace the sweetener with apple butter.

Mulled cider:
Replace cinnamon with mulled cider spices; use dried apples for fruit.

1 tbsp      ground ginger
1-1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp     cloves
1/2 tsp     black pepper
Replace sweetener with fancy molasses. Replace 1/2 cup of fruit with candied ginger.

…the possibilities are endless!

Printable Easy Bake Granola


  1. This looks interesting, Kathy! I make homemade granola using a recipe from a friend, too. I'll never buy boxed granola!

    1. Thanks Rhonda, I'm making the chocolate one tonight. Just waiting for the oven to be free.