Oh Granola, how I love thee – when it is homemade! Growing up, we regularly had a name brand granola cereal box on the breakfast table. It was good stuff… I mean it wasn’t like there were many options when it came to store bought granola. This brand boasted wholesomeness, simplicity and all-natural ingredients but there were also added preservatives and sodium to increase shelf life. Increased shelf life is definitely something to consider when you live out in the middle of nowhere and the roads are icy, the snow is half a meter high and the windchill is at -45 C. Who wants to venture out to get groceries when it’s that cold? Then again, it sounds like we lived off of granola….we didn’t, we just always had it as an option for breakfast. Had I only known of making homemade granola at that time, I would have incorporated it into desserts, cookies and of course breakfast more often. One day, many years later, when I experienced cable television for the first time, I stumbled upon a wonderful television network: The Food Network! And on that day, the host was effortlessly making granola from scratch. I immediately started experimenting with the ingredients I had on hand, and playing with the amount of sugar. Too much sugar and fat added to the granola only negates the wholesomeness of the ingredients and is then looked upon as a treat. So, I decided to develop a recipe for granola that is not too sweet, vegan and ultimate in flavor and texture! There are so many flavor combinations and fun and healthy ingredients to put together an outstanding granola!
As much as I enjoy eating granola on its own, I absolutely love making yogurt parfaits with granola. The crunchy texture of the oats and nuts really break up the smoothness of the yogurt and berries. I also like the added fibre, minerals and protein from the oats, nuts and seeds! The Homemade Gourmet Granola Parfait is definitely one of my favorite breakfasts!
Starting with whole oats, the foundation of a gorgeous granola.
For nuts, combination will do. I opted for straight up sliced almonds here, because that is what I had in the cupboard. Pecans and cashews especially paired with sliced almonds are amazing in granola.
Have I mentioned how much I love raw pumpkin seeds? These little tasty seeds are super healthy! They have anti-inflammatory properties are serve as a great source of magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats.
Dried fruit is a great way to add color, vitamins and texture to your granola!
Once you’ve thoroughly mixed all the ingredients, pour the granola mix onto the prepared sheet.
Make sure to spread the mixture evenly on the sheet!
When it comes to berries – the fresher, the better! Our Aunt Philomina brought us some large, plump and fresh blackberries! I could hardly wait to make a parfait using these ripe and plump gems!
To make the parfait, I like to use plain greek yogurt, fresh berries or berries that are lightly warmed and layer the ingredients into the jar however you like. I almost love lemons as much as my mom, so I added lemon zest to the top of this parfait! Enjoy!
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup pecan halves or cashews or hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots (chopped), raisins or cherries
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat, set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir to combine all dry ingredients.
- Measure out maple syrup and oil, add to dry ingredients and using your hands, fully mix the glorious ingredients until evenly coated.
- Spread the granola mixture evenly and thinly onto a prepared cookie sheet, place into oven and let bake for 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes and then again at around 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven and let cool on sheet. Enjoy as a cereal, snack or top a dessert!