Ecosalon Recipes: DIY Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola

cranberry granola

I’ve been making my own granola for years now. It’s much cheaper and fresher than store-bought and it’s easy to change it up in innumerable ways to fit your mood or your tastes. In fact, I’ve become completely spoiled by my granola. Whenever my cupboard is bare and I don’t think I have the time to make granola, I haunt the granola bulk bins at my local store. The prices and the none-too-fresh looks of the stuff send me straight home to spend 30 minutes making my own batch. That’s right – just 30 minutes!

Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola

This is a good basic recipe that you can adapt to your taste. See the variations below for ideas.

Makes about 8 cups

1/2 cup mild vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
2 cups oat flakes (not quick cooking)
2 cups kamut (or other cereal grain) flakes (or you can use all oat, if you’d like)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, warm the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Do not boil. Stir in the cinnamon.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, kamut flakes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cranberries. Toss to mix. Pour the maple syrup mixture over and toss until evenly and lightly coated.

Transfer the mixture to a large baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Stop halfway through and stir the ingredients so they brown evenly. Let cool completely on the pan and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Will keep about 2 weeks.

Variation ideas: Switch out the vegetable oil for butter and/or the maple syrup for brown sugar or agave, if you like. Vary the nuts by adding walnuts (for example) or the seeds by adding pumpkin seeds. For extra nutrition try flax or chia seeds and for the fruit, use your own home-dried fruit or seasonal, local fruit from the farmers’ market. Some people like coconut in their granola. I am not one of them.

Recipe Copyright Vanessa Barrington 2010

Note: Use organic and local ingredients whenever possible.

Image: sleepyneko

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.