This is my husband’s favorite granola. Every time I make granola, I make a batch of this one for him.
You can modify the flavorings to your heart’s content. Over the years we have tried cinnamon, cardamom, orange peel, vanilla and a variety of dried fruit; dried cherries and cranberries are our favorite dried fruits to add.
But in my family, we prefer plain granola without additional flavorings. We adore maple flavor and the other flavors seem to obscure the maple. So our granola is pretty simple.
We like our granola with big crunchy chunks. My husband figured out how to create big chunks years ago – do you know how to do it?
I would make granola with wheat germ. He would make his with oat bran (because he avoids wheat). His had big chunks. Mine did not. Bummer. We all liked the big chunks and maple flavor his had.
Turns out that the solution was a simple one: more water. (Yes, really!)
Oats are the basis of this breakfast staple (which is also delicious at lunch and for snacks). Oats are a whole grain loaded with soluble fiber. Although oats do not contain gluten, they are often contaminated with gluten, so if you have celiac disease, or are especially careful, be sure you purchase gluten free oats.
The oat bran add nutrients and helps bind the liquid and oats to form big chunks.
The maple syrup, oil and water serve as the liquid ingredients. They bind the oats and bran. As the granola bakes it dries out. If you are careful when you flip the granola halfway through baking, you will have big chunks of granola. If you dislike big chunks, you can stir the granola on the sheet instead of flipping it so that you will not have any chunks.
For big maple flavor be sure you are using dark maple syrup (previously called grade B).
You can add up to 1 cup of dried fruit in this recipe if you desire. Or you can just add the dried fruit when you eat the granola. You will have bigger chunks if you add fewer mix ins which disturb chunk formation!
Before we talk about how to make this easy granola recipe, let’s mention price. Have you priced gourmet granola lately??? Last time I did it was $9 for a bag that would be less than half of this recipe! You can save serious money by making your own granola. Enough money to justify the purchase of real maple syrup if it is not already in your kitchen!
The basic recipe and technique is the same for all the granolas. So here we go. . . .
Combine the oats, oat bran, and salt in a bowl.
Put the maple syrup, oil and water in a glass measuring cup. Microwave until steaming.
Whisk the hot liquid ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a heat-resistant spatula or spoon.
Place the granola in a lined, rimmed half-sheet pan.
If you want your granola to be chunky, pat down the mixture as you spread it out on the pan. This is the most time consuming part of this recipe. When you are done, the granola should cover most of the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully flip the granola one spatula full at a time. If you want your granola to be in larger chunks, you need to take your time to flip the granola carefully so that the chunks remain intact.
If you are adding fruit, you can sprinkle it over the granola. (You can also add it after baking if you desire.)
Turn the baking sheet back to front and return it to the oven. Bake for about 30 more minutes. You want the granola to be golden brown. It should be fairly firm, but it will crisp up more as it cools.
Since the oat bran is not toasted before baking, it will be baked longer to turn golden brown. Sometimes after an hour in the oven, we turn off the oven and leave the granola in for another 30 minutes as the oven cools.
Let the granola sit at room temperature until completely cool. Then store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Oat bran is a powerhouse. It is high in soluble fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and potassium.
Oats supply fiber (mostly soluble) as well as protein. One quarter cup of oats supplies 50% of the manganese you need in a day and 64% of the molybdenum. More than 25% of phosphorus, copper and the B vitamins biotin and thiamin.
So for 1/3 cup granola you will receive 4 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and all the vitamins and minerals in the wheat germ and oats.
Nut Free, Gluten Free Granola
- 3½ cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup oat bran
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup dried fruit optional
- Preheat the oven to 275°.
- Combine the oatmeal, oat bran and salt in a large bowl.
- Combine the maple syrup, oil and water in glass measuring cup.
- Heat liquid ingredients in microwave until steaming.
- Whisk the hot liquid ingredients.
- Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Place mixture on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with a liner or parchment.
- Pat down the mixture with a spatula to spread it out. If you like chunky granola, pat firmly all over.
- Bake in 275° oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove granola from oven and flip with a spatula. If you want large chunks, try to disturb the granola as little as possible as you flip it.
- Add dried fruit if you are using it (or you can add it when eating).
- Return to the oven for about 30 minutes.
- If the granola looks golden brown and is quite dry, it is done. If it is not golden brown, or too "bendy" or soft, return to the oven for about 10 minutes. The granola will firm up a little bit as it cools, but not significantly. Sometimes we turn off the oven and let the granola sit in a cooling oven for 30 minutes or so.
- Cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Store in an airtight container.