Nutty Maple and Vanilla Granola

  • Yield: servings

Ingredients

3cups rolled oats
1/3cup pumpkin seeds
1/2cup pecans
1/3cup sunflower seeds
1/3cup slivered almonds
1/3cup sesame seeds
1cup walnuts
1/2cup water
1/2cup maple syrup or honey
1/3cup packed cup light Muscovado sugar
1tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2teaspoon sea salt
1/4cup safflower or canola oil
-- dried fruit like apple, cranberries, and cherries to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 320F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats with the nuts and seeds; set aside. In a pot, heat the water, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, sea salt, and oil over medium heat. Bring barely to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the granola is golden brown in color, stirring occasionally to make sure it bakes evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Add the dried fruit. Serve with fresh fruit, yogurt, or milk, and honey or maple syrup if you like. This granola keeps well for 4 weeks stored in an airtight container.

It’s easy to make your own dried fruit, like apples or strawberries. Preheat the oven to 220F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust the paper with confectioners’ sugar. Wash the fruit and pat it dry in a clean kitchen towel. Core the apples and hull the strawberries. Thinly slice the fruit (use a mandoline if you have one) and place the thin slices on the baking sheet. Dust again lightly with confectioners’ sugar, place in the oven, and bake for 1 hour, rotating the baking sheet after 30 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and turn the slices over to the other side. Bake again for 30 to 40 minutes, checking regularly. The fruit should feel dry. Take one piece out and let it cool. If it’s crunchy, it’s ready. If not, continue to bake. When ready, let cool completely on a cooling rack. The fruit will keep for a few weeks stored in an airtight container.

Reprinted with permission from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre, Roost Books.

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