Orange scented, chock full of heart healthy almonds and walnuts and sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of maple syrup, this is one of my husband’s favorite breakfasts. I generally make a batch of this once a month.
Makes about 8 cups
5 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups dried unsulfured fruit such as cranberries, currents, dried apricots, papaya, raisins, plums, apples, mango, chopped if necessary
Grated peel of two oranges
1/4 t fine grain sea salt (optional)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2-3 T melted coconut oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds with grated orange peel and salt. Heat coconut oil in small saucepan over low heat. Add maple syrup. Whisk thoroughly and pour over oat mixture and stir coating the oats, nuts and fruit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread almond-oat mixture in single layer on cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted. Check every 10 minutes. Stir as needed. Timing depends on your oven and your altitude but generally the granola should be done within 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove from oven, press down on mixture with spatula for clumps. Let cool and store in air-tight glass containers.
Serve with almond milk.
I often skip the coconut oil–there are plenty of healthy fats in this recipe with the almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and the maple syrup provides the adequate granola “clumping factor” .
I consider granola a treat because of the maple syrup and often choose muesli since I prefer the subtle sweetness of just the orange peel. High quality organic maple syrup, however, has its own rich tastes and when I use it I use the Grade B, dark variety, known for its pronounced maple flavors with fewer sugars than the lighter Grade A varieties.