I think I’ve mentioned my love for cookbooks here before, but just in case I hadn’t, I’m saying it now. I love cookbooks. Especially those that are well written with beautiful photography. There is little I love more than settling in with a cup of tea and a cookbook, new or old, reading over the lists of ingredients and taking in the pictures.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up ‘Good to the Grain’ by Kim Boyce. I kept reading about it on various food blogs and was curious to find out what all the talk was about. It is a beautifully written cookbook with photography to match.
When I get a new cookbook I’ll often sit and make a list of recipes that catch my eye first. This recipe for Maple Pecan Granola was at the top of that list. I love a good granola, and have shared here the one I most often make. The ingredient list for this granola is short and the process is quite easy. You’d never know by the layers of flavor you get in the end.
Maple Pecan Granola
from ‘Good to the Grain’
2 cups pecan halves
3 cups old fashioned oats (the recipe also suggests trying barley or rye flakes)
2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 stick butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups dried fruit such as blueberries or cranberries
Heat your oven to 325 degrees. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet and toast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasty and golden brown.
Butter rimmed baking sheets or one large roasting pan (I skipped this step because I used nonstick baking sheets. The granola came off fine.)
Measure oats, coconut, wheat bran and toasted pecans into a large bowl and toss them together. Squeeze the pecans to break some into small pieces.
To make the syrup, measure the maple syrup into a small saucepan. Place it over medium high heat for 7-10 minutes to reduce the syrup to 3/4 cup. It’s fine to have slightly more than 3/4 cup, but do not let it go below that amount or the granola will lose it’s gloss. After measuring, pour the reduced syrup back into the pot and add the butter and salt. Swirl the syrup until it melts.
As soon as the syrup is done, immediately pour it over the oat mixture, making sure to use the spatula to scrape every last bit out. Use the spatula to combine. This means going over and over tossing and scraping to make sure the syrup has coated every bit of the dry ingredients.
Scrape the granola evenly over the prepared baking sheets, spreading it evenly.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven and scrape the outer edges of the granola toward the center and the center out to the edges. Repeat this two more times for a total of 30 minutes.
Allow the granola to cool thoroughly on the sheets; this allows the clumps to form. Once the granola has cooled stir in the dried fruit if you are using it.
As spring rolls around I start looking for a lighter option for breakfast, other than my usual bowl of oatmeal, this granola completely fit the bill. I’ve been eating it mixed with a bowl of fresh fruit and it’s been a great, light breakfast to start the day.
This granola is also a great snack post workout or in the afternoon when you just need a handful of something to get you through until supper.