Chunky Maple Granola aka Homemade Backpack Granola
A recent conversation about tapping maple trees for syrup sent me in to the kitchen to make this delicious chunky maple granola recipe. My friend Laura and I were chatting – she and husband Oakley were having their maple trees tapped for the annual pancake breakfast at Pattison Park near Cincinnati. Laura had me so enthused about tapping maple trees that I’m determined next year to tap ours.
Actually, we did tap our trees when my boys were little, but had no idea just how to go about it and I recall we got so little sap that we just stuck our fingers in it and tasted it raw. Tapping maple trees is an ancient art. Laura told me tapping should be done in mid to late winter - nights in the 20’s and days sunny and in the 40’s. So it’s a timely venture. Our state park districts participate in lots of fun maple syrup events for the family, so I hope you take advantage.
Chunky Maple Granola aka Backpack Granola Recipe
Those of you who follow what I’m making know that my quest for the perfect granola recipe is never ending. I think I could write a book granola recipes!
I was at first going to call this a “Bible Granola Recipe” since so many ancient grains and ingredients. This is my chunkiest yet – really good chunks but remember, you will always have some flaking. Be careful when breaking apart.
This is a delicious granola recipe to eat after a long hike, sprinkled on yogurt or eaten as a breakfast cereal.
Now if you don’t have maple syrup, honey or agave syrup is a nice substitute.
I like to use old fashioned oats as they hold up better in the oven, since they’re in larger pieces than minute or instant oats.
4 cups old fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups sliced almonds or favorite nuts
1 cup mixed seeds: your choice of sesame, flax, millet, chia, hemp or sunflower seeds (see Rita’s tip)
Whisk together and add the smaller amount listed at first, then taste and add more if you like.
1/2 to 2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
2-3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325. Put a piece of parchment on large cookie sheet (about 15×12). Spray parchment.
Pour coating over oat mixture. Pour onto pan and pat down evenly and firmly. This is important to make the granola chunk up later. Bake 30-35 minutes. Let cool and break into chunks. I use an offset spatula.
Granola Recipe Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
You can use any combo of seeds, even all sunflower. In this granola recipe, I used flax, sesame and hemp seeds.
Millet gives this granola recipe a delicious crunch and contains protein and iron.
Chia, like flax, is a great source of Omega 3’s, but doesn’t have to be ground to get the benefit. It also absorbs a lot of water and curbs the appetite.
Hemp is not what you think, it comes from a completely different plant. Huge amounts of Omega 3’s and protein there, too and makes a wonderful addition to any granola recipe