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Maple Pecan Granola

Last week, I received a super cool gift in the mail!  This gorgeous stainless steel serving bowl, along with four bags of premium-quality nuts and a sweet card… all from my pals at Fisher® Nuts.  Um…. WOOHOO!!  What food enthusiast wouldn’t be thrilled to receive such a package?  I love nuts!  I don’t get to cook with them nearly enough.

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Whip up granola at home in half an hour!

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As a half-hearted meat eater, I love that nuts are an alternative source of protein for me (while also providing fiber and healthy fat!)  I love that they instantly add luxury to whatever dish I’m using them in!  And I love that they are delicious savory or sweet!  The only time I don’t love them is when they are hidden in are candy bars and some desserts.  I know… weird.  But peanut M&Ms, walnut brownies, Snickers… these things bother me.  Anyone else??

Anyway, as soon as I opened the package I immediately got excited and started looking for recipes to use them in.  (This sundried tomato layer dip is definitely calling my name the next time I need a party appetizer!)  And I immediately whipped up a batch of this decadent macadamia butter to spread on my favorite muffins.  But the real “aha!” moment came later in the week… I decided to make some homemade Maple Pecan Granola.  I happen to be a cereal addict (especially when pregnant), and I already had all the ingredients on hand! So I whipped some up during Elsa’s nap, and I’ve nearly finished the whole batch since!  This stuff is good.  Almost every bowl I eat is followed by a second.

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Maple Pecan Granola- Quick, healthy, and easy to make at home!

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One of my favorite things about homemade granola is the smell while it is baking!  There’s really nothing like the smell of oats and pecans roasting in the oven.  You should try it sometime. :)

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Maple Pecan Granola- Quick, healthy, and easy to make at home!

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After the initial toast, the granola ingredients are coated with a mixture of maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and a little salt.  I also like to stir in some ground flax seed (for an extra boost of fiber and Omega 3s!)

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Maple Pecan Granola- Quick, healthy, and easy to make at home!

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The coated granola will bake at a low temperature for about 30 minutes (again, your house will smell aMAZing.)  And when it comes out of the oven, I also like to fold in dried fruit.  I LOVE dried fruit!  Raisins, cranberries, cherries, even prunes (why do prunes get such a bad rap anyway??)  I think dried peaches or apricots would pair especially well with the maple notes in this granola!

Or if you’re not particularly craving dried fruit, you could also fold in something a little more decant like white chocolate chips or cinnamon chips.  Who’s stoppin’ ya?  Just make sure the granola is cool before you stir either of those in, or things could get messy!

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Maple Pecan Granola- Quick, healthy, and easy to make at home!

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Whatever you mix in, I’d encourage you to try making granola at home.  It’s truly easy and can be done much more affordably than many store-bought brands.  I myself have become a major fan, now that I’ve tried it once… too easy not to!  Can’t wait to try other flavor combinations… strawberry & almond, cocoa & pineapple… and let me know if you think of other good combinations I might need to try!

Here’s the printable recipe… enjoy it now, ya hear?

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Maple Pecan Granola
 
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
This granola is wholesome and mildly sweet with warm notes of maple. Enjoy it any time of day!
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecans, halved or chopped
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup dried fruit or cinnamon chips (optional)
Directions:
  1. Lay one sheet of parchment paper onto a large sheet pan and preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, and coconut.
  3. Spread mixture onto the sheet pan in one even layer, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer oat mixture back to the mixing bowl and stir in the ground flax seeds and nutmeg.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 1 full minute. Then remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  6. Pour the hot syrup mixture slowly over the toasted oat mixture in the mixing bowl (stirring gently as you pour) and stir til the oat mixture is evenly coated.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 300, and return granola mixture to the sheet pan (in an even layer.) Bake granola at 300 for 30 more minutes, until granola is golden brown.
  8. Remove granola from the oven and fold in the dried fruit (if using.) If adding white chocolate chips or cinnamon chips, wait for granola to cool before folding those in.
  9. Allow granola to fully cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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You might also enjoy…

Holiday Steel Cut Oats 

Holiday Steel Cut Oats

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.

8 Responses so far.

  1. Rebecca Mayes says:

    I am also expecting and due in early October, and I have had the hardest time finding good food that I want for breakfast (except toaster strudel, but who can afford that all the time). I made this granola this morning and had a bowl of it with milk and bananas and it was wonderful!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Carissa says:

      I hear ya! Having cravings that don’t fit the budget is the story of my life these days. I’m really glad you liked the granola. :) (So healthy for you and baby too!)

  2. […] 7) Maple Pecan Granola […]

  3. JJ Gandy says:

    I have read that if flax seed is cooked, it produces a toxin. Any info on that?

    • JJ Gandy says:

      Just did some looking, and it looks like there are differing opinions. The majority say it is flaxseed oil that can produce toxins if heated at high temps. This seems to be the most common sentiment: Flaxseed oil is so fragile that heat turns it into a rancid oil (with lotsa free radicals and other nasty stuff) so it’s best used in salad dressings and other “cold/warm” applications and NOT used in cooking. However, flaxseeds themselves (the whole ones) can withstand baking (up to 300 degrees F, I believe) without any harm/danger of similar conversion to a transfat.
      For folks who eat more than 4 tablespoons of flaxseeds or ground flaxseed daily, it’s actually recommended that you toast the seeds first. This is to inactivate a substance in the seeds called cyanogenic glycosides (also found in lima beans, bamboo shoots, sweet potatoes, etc.). This substance metabolizes into something called thiocyanate – a chemical that can over time, adversely affect thyroid function.
      Toasting the seeds at 250 degrees F for 20-30 minutes deactivates the glycosides while preserving the lovely omega-3 found in the seeds. Plus, it makes them taste nuttier in my opinion.

      • Carissa says:

        What a great tip!! I’ll have to remember to only use the seeds for baking at low temps!

      • Carissa says:

        Just looked at the recipe and I actually specify to add the flax seeds after the initial (hotter) stint in the oven. After the flax seeds are added, the granola is baked at 300! So that works out prety well. The only question is whether the ground seeds are ok at that temp, or whether they have to be whole… hmmm.