Simple Blonde Granola

Blonde Granola

But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne spelled with an E. “What difference does it make how it’s spelled?” asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot. Oh it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced, can’t you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. (Anne of Green Gables)

I feel the same way about my hair color. B-l-o-n-d looks dreadful and brusque, but b-l-o-n-d-e looks so much more distinguished and elegant. Either way you spell it, blonde carries a heavy weight around on its pretty shoulders. Blonde has a reputation for being light, airy, and shallow. But we all know plenty exceptions to the blonde stereotype, right?

For example, this granola. It’s light. It’s easy. But this Blonde also has substance and flavor that goes beyond its small ingredient list and fair exterior.

Blonde Granola

Blonde Granola

Now, I’m a huge granola fan, and in no way against the CrunchyPecanPumpkinFlaxWhiteChocolatePeanutButterRaisin type of granola. However, for my daily granola habit, I needed to exercise some restraint. And when we went sugar-free, I made a handful of not-so-delicious granolas that prompted me to create an everyday granola of my own with no refined sugar and a whole lot of flavor. I stripped down my Gingerbread Granola to make this simple blonde version.

Blonde Granola

You won’t find spices or brown sugar vying for your taste bud’s attention (or making your granola the more traditional brunette). It’s just old-fashioned rolled oats and sliced almonds getting a simple wash of maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt before spending some time under the dryer (um, in the oven).

The result is a pure granola goodness.

Blonde Granola

Don’t skip out on the salt. It lends a kettle corn, sweet caramely quality to the granola that is positively addictive. I’ve been enjoying mine on homemade pumpkin yogurt.

Blonde Granola

Simple Blonde Granola
Author: Emily C. Gardner
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 25 mins
Serves: 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (110g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (45g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet (preferably one with sides) with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, and salt.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together maple syrup and coconut oil. Continue stirring until coconut oil is melted and fully incorporated with syrup.
  5. Pour over oat mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Spread moistened mixture on prepared pan.
  7. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring two or three times throughout the baking process.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Gingerbread Granola

Granola gets amped up for the holidays with traditional gingerbread touches. Molasses gives the oats and toasty pecans a beautiful color and rich flavor. The addicting blend of spices mirrors the taste of a warm, thick slice of gingerbread.

 Hunger has virtually nothing to do with my uncontrolled consumption of this granola. I can’t keep my hand out of the jar or stop myself from pouring a bowl with almond milk for an “anytime” snack.

I keep imagining it on top of Pumpkin Greek Yogurt, mixed into waffle or pancake batter, or topped with a dollop of lemon curd.

This recipe is a simple way to infuse the flavors of a holiday staple into a pantry staple.  I may never go back to regular granola…

Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown.  I love the dry, crispy texture of this granola and it still manages to clump together. So tasty on top of Pumpkin Greek Yogurt.

Gingerbread Granola
Author: Emily C. Gardner
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 25 mins
This recipe is a simple way to infuse the flavors of a holiday staple into a pantry staple. I may never go back to regular granola. Adapted from Alton Brown.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together molasses, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures. Work the liquid mixture into the oat mixture until everything is moistened.
  4. Pour onto sheet pan. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and let the granola come to room temperature in the pan.
  5. Add mix-ins* if desired and store in an airtight container.
  6. *Suggested mix-ins: golden raisins, yogurt chips, Craisins, white chocolate chips