Wednesday, January 13

Tree-Huggers, 401K's, and Easy Homemade Crunchy Maple Walnut Granola

crunchy maple walnut and banana granola

If I say, "She's so granola," you know exactly what I mean -- she's a tree-hugging, free-spirited, hemp-wearing woman with long graying hair who wears her well-worn Birkenstocks to walk to the local co-op where she buys only fair-trade goods.

Does that mean that a short-haired, Anthrolpologie-wearing, Cosmo-drinking girl with a 401K like me can't be "granola"? Cause I eat a lot of it.

I don't buy it at the local co-op; I make my own, while wearing high heels. Making homemade granola is easy and allows you to control the fat, sugar, and calorie content. It's also less expensive. Don't pay $5.00/pound for pre-made granola when you can buy oats for 79 cents a pound.

crunchy maple walnut granola

My current favorite is Easy Homemade Crunchy Maple Walnut Granola, a hearty maple-coated granola loaded with clusters of sticky walnuts and coconut, crisp banana chips, and tart cherries. I know it's expensive, but you have to use pure maple syrup.  

Recently someone said to me, "You're so Mad Men in that dress." Hah. Little do they know I'm so granola.

cherry, prune, and almond granola
Be sure to check out my homemade Cherry, Prune, and Almond Granola pictured above.

Easy Homemade Crunchy Maple Walnut Granola
Yield: Approximately 7 cups
Print recipe only here.

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup dried banana chips
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter (or butter substitute such as Smart Balance)
1-2 teaspoons maple extract*
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. In a small pan over medium heat, melt maple syrup and butter. Remove from heat; stir in maple extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. Pour maple-butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well coated. Spread mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until granola is golden brown. (If you want it extra crunchy, then turn off heat and leave in the warm oven for another 20-25 minutes.) Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

*Note: Maple extract is intensely flavored, so it's a great, reduced calorie way to cut down on the amount of maple syrup needed. It's available in the spice section of most major supermarkets. If you can't find it, then add an extra 1/4 cup of maple syrup to the recipe.

Here are more healthy recipes from Food Blogga you might enjoy:
Low-Fat Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones
Shrimp, Pineapple, and 7-Whole Grain Pilaf Salad
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Lemon
Warm Bulgur Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Oranges
Healthy Tofu and Vegetables with an Orange-Honey-Ginger Glaze

Here are more homemade granola recipes you might enjoy:
Glorious Granola recipe at Cookie Baker Lynn
Coconut Almond Granola recipe at Baking Bites
Hearty Homemade Granola recipe at Adventures in Shaw
Very Nutty Homemade Granola recipe at The Passionate Cook
Granola with Almonds, Apricots, Cranberries, and Pineapple recipe at The Kitchn


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Homemade granola is fantastic! yours look really good!



The Teacher Cooks said...

I do buy granola, but now you have given me a good excuse to make it. It looks and sounds delicious. I am sure the cherries really add to the favor.

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

This sounds and looks amazing! I have to get back making granola when I'm able to eat oats again :)

Maria said...

I am glad you posted the recipe. I knew I needed it after seeing your photo on Twitter. Going to make this this weekend.

The Food Hunter said...

this is great. I'm going to try making both kinds maybe this weekend. Thanks

Soma said...

The best. The best!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

OK, the image of you making granola in the kitchen in heels is tres elegant!

Sean said...

Granola in high heels - awesome haha

These would be really good in some yogurt right now...

Abby said...

Actually, we call them "crunchy." Heh. And I'd love for someone to say I'm so "Mad Men" in a dress!

This looks great. I'm sure my lil' C. would love it. He's into anything crunchy and sweet, so it would be nice to feed him something other than cookies!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I know exactly what you mean Susan. In Southern BC we have plenty of what I call "granola bars" but I'd be the one eating the maple flavoured granola topping my Greek yogurt.

symphonious sweets said...

This is just what I need today some homemade granola. I live in the crunchy granola capital Eugene Oregon, we are not just granola here but crunchy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...


teachercooks-I prefer them to raisins.

angela-Hope it's soon!

maria-Yay! Hope you enjoy it!

foodhunter-That's doubly wonderful!

soma-Thank you so much!

tw-Tres elegant. I love it.

sean-Yeah, it's an image, alright. An insane one. ;)

abby-Oh, yeah. I think "crunchy" is more East Coast.

val-In Cananda too, huh? And I had it on Greek yogurt for breakfast this morning.

symphonioussweets-Oh, I'm so glad you commented! I needed some input from a native "crunchy granola" type. ;)

kitchen table said...

I really like homemade granola! I remember my mother who makes some every now and then. So delicious.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

That looks scrumptious! I like your description of "granola". It's funny how times change, and "granola" has now shifted/expanded to a different group of people. I too am pretty granola - but I wear makeup, high heels, and also like to include fancy indulgences such as truffle oil in my diet - along with granola!

Kelly said...

Oh I am a granola LOVAH!! Thanks for this!!

kate said...

I'm totally granola, and homemade at that. Lately we've been on a Cherry Coconut granola kick. Divine!

Anonymous said...

I make two batches of granola a week, but I've always used oil. Butter actually sounds much better. I don't know what it is about the maple syrup but nothing gives granola quite the same light crunchiness. I've substituted everything from brown sugar to honey (because they are way cheaper) and still keep coming back to the maple syrup.

I'll skip the high heels though-graceful ain't my thing and I'd probably break a hip ;)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm much more the crunchy granola type myself: Birkenstocks, and gray hair (which used to be long and flowing!). And I still make my own granola, too.

Homemade Heaven said...

I am not granola, but I do love to eat it - we call it muesli.
I am waiting for my friend to come out in May from Canada and bring me some real maple syrup - I have never eaten the real stuff before. Then I am going to try this - provided he brings me more than teaspoon full!

Unknown said...

Wonderful recipe! I made this last night and man is it a hit this morning. Now I can never go back to pre-packaged granola! Thanks!

Lori Lynn said...

Susan - you are it - You go granola girl!

We Are Not Martha said...

Homemade granola is the best!! But the addition of maple?? YUM!!


Manggy said...

Oh, awesome! I love this on top of yoghurt and berries - it's the best way ;)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

kitchen table-It is delicious.

tastyeatsathome-I love it-- granola, truffle oil, and high heels.

kelly-Granola "LOVAH." That made me smile. :)

kate-Well, you know I love cherry and coconut granola too!

anonymous-I prefer butter to oil primarily because of the flavor. I find the oil sometimes leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. As for pure maple syrup, there's nothing quite like it.

lydia-Long and flowing? That's hard for me to imagine!

rose-He'd better bring you more than that!

david-Oh, I'm so happy to hear that! Thanks, David!


sues-Maple syrup makes everything better.

mark-That's what I had for breakfast this morning!

Lisa Johnson said...

Love this post! I love granola too, but have never thought of myself as the "crunchy granola" type. I like cute shoes! I guess that stereotype has to change. ; )

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful granola - I love the cherries in it. I'm like you, a mass of contradictions. I eat granola and occasionally tofu, had home births with midwives, homeschool, but I am not the least bit hippyish.

Julie said...

This looks incredible, Susan! I'm going to whip some up this weekend. I absolutely love homemade granola, but have actually never made it (only enjoyed it when others made it for me). Thanks for the inspiration, from one anthropologie wearing granola to another. :-)

Anonymous said...

Looove homemade granola. I've got it on my list of things to do soon!