Granola is constantly touted as a health food, but it’s a challenge to find one that’s actually good for you. Store-bought granola and recipes alike typically contain high amounts of sugar and oil, making it more of a dessert than an acceptable addition to a nutritious breakfast. This recipe restores granola to its place at the breakfast table by cutting the oil and sugar but leaving the flavor and nutrition. It’s packed with good-for-you fats and omega-3s thanks to the nuts and seeds, sweetened naturally with fruit and maple syrup, and flavored with a hint of warm cinnamon and vanilla. Sprinkle it over a smoothie bowl, pair it with your favorite plant milk, or simply eat it straight from the mason jar.
2 1/2 cups rolled gluten-free oats
1 cup chopped and pitted Medjool dates
1 cup chopped almonds
1⁄2 cup raisins (or other dried fruit of choice)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (oats, chopped dates, raisins, nuts, seeds, salt, and cinnamon).
3. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat on your stovetop. Combine wet ingredients (maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla extract) and stir for 2-3 minutes. Or you can add the ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until just slightly melted and combined.
4. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Use a spoon to break apart clumps of dates and raisins.
5. Spread the granola over the baking sheet into a thin layer and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Stir halfway at 10 minutes—this is really important to keep it from burning.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for several weeks (if you don’t eat it all first!).