Granola is where it’s at people! I’m in deep smit with this stuff…. but first let me tell you about my week!
My life was relaxing and simple this past week. I spent four gloriously relaxing days in Boothbay Harbor, Maine with friends in a seaside house that my amazing friend Lisa rented. It’s her favorite happy place and I’m eternally grateful that she shared the experience.
I would wake up to a crisp breeze and the smell of the ocean. I would meander downstairs to the side room where light poured in through the million windows that faced the ocean and side yard. I relaxed with fresh coffee, cool air, and great company. Breakfast consisted of greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a friend’s homemade granola. This was perfectly light and fresh and served as the perfect fuel for each day. Then we would begin our days with long and beautiful walks along the seaside, over the ocean-worn rocks, and through forested trails. We would end the days sitting on a seaside dock with cool breeze, fresh lobstahs, wine, and plenty of laughter. It was perfect.
It’s ok to be jealous… I’m jealous of my memories. I want more of it. Four days wasn’t enough!
I was so thankful that my friend Susan brought her granola along to share! Everyone needs a great granola recipe in their pocket. It’s the perfect topping for yogurt and also a great portable snack to bring along hikes or…. to Maine! Never leave home without it. It should on the top of a list of the 10 essentials to bring on a trip….right up there with your compass. Am I right?
I decided to share my person granola recipe that I have tweaked and twisted around through the years. I really like adding as many goodies in my granola as possible. From batch to batch, they taste different depending on what I have on hand in my cupboards. This recipe is an adaptation of many many many recipes that I have used over the years. The main twist is that I use a trick from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, where an egg white is used to retain large clusters in the granola. The protein in the egg white are a great binding agent and cut down on the amount of oil needed.
Also, I like to kick up the nuts and seeds ratio and lower the amount of sweetener. Nuts and seeds increase the protein content of the granola which helps keep you satiated and controls blood sugar spikes. This recipe also only has 1/2 cup of sweetener. I prefer to use maple syrup as the sweetener because it adds a great warming aroma and flavor to the granola, while being a 100%-natural sweetener. You could also use honey or coconut palm sugar.
And let’s NOT forget about the spices! Cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and crystallized ginger are great additions, providing a warm punch of autumnal love to this healthy granola. I added a handful of dried cranberries to the end mixture for great tart/sweet combo. Dried cherries and/or dried apple chunks would also be great additions.
I love this granola in fist fulls or sprinkled on top of greek yogurt with fresh fruit or applesauce. I have also eaten it as homemade cereal. It’s also an easy and quick dessert option sprinkled on baked fruit.
Cranberry, Ginger, and Maple Granola (Gluten Free)
- 3 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 2 cups assorted nuts and seeds (I like a variation/mixture of different nuts and seeds such as pistachios, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts)
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup diced candied ginger
- Preheat oven to 275 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients except egg white, cranberries, and candied ginger in a large bowl and mix well. Whisk the egg white in a separate small bowl until lightly frothy. Pour over granola and mix well.
- Spread out the granola mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, lightly mix and try to not break up too many of the yummy granola clusters. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Mix in cranberries and candied ginger. Place in an airtight container and keep tasty for up to 3 weeks!