Healthy Maple Granola

Written by Dr. Scarlett Cooper, ND (www.drscarlettcooper.com)

As a guest writer on the blog of Dinutrition, I’m happy to share with you today my favourite homemade granola recipe. There are two parts to the reason I love this particular granola and what makes it so unique.  While I was a student at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, my roommate and I created this recipe, and it made for a memorable study break.  We were inspired by the Paleo diet, as we found ‘Paleo-nola’ recipes to be a little too rich for our tastebuds and yet we wanted to create a recipe that was lighter in grains, sugar, and oil than most store-bought granolas.

Staying true to the philosophy of naturopathic medicine, we aimed for balance in our recipe.  Rather than using rolled oats as the primary ingredient, or eliminating grains completely, we complemented them with a wide variety of nuts, seeds, spices, and the natural sweetness of real maple syrup (honey is a great alternative!).

We also used almond cashew butter along with coconut oil and a generous amount of pure vanilla extract to mix with the dry ingredients.  Cashews have a buttery, somewhat sweet flavour, and while using plain almond butter is a fine substitute, the flavour won’t be quite the same.  I recommend trying ‘Nuts to You’ almond cashew butter!

Since this recipe uses a higher proportion of nuts & seeds to grains, it is richer in fat than most granolas, making it more filling and satisfying.  Nuts especially are known for their heart-healthy fats and protective effects against cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering the risk of weight gain and development of gallstones.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  To good health and good eats!

Healthy Maple Granola

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 3/8 cup almond cashew butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients except cranberries in a large mixing bowl.  Melt coconut oil over low heat in a small pot and mix in rest of wet ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Spread on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300-325 F (depending how hot your oven is) for 15 minutes; remove and stir, then bake at 250 F another 10-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  If adding cranberries, add them in toward the end and allow to bake for only 5 minutes.

Sprinkle generously on a bowl of fresh fruit and serve with almond milk or yogurt.  Store leftovers in an airtight glass jar and enjoy as a snack anytime!

Dr. Scarlett Cooper is a licensed naturopathic doctor and trained nutritionist in the province of British Columbia.  She works with patients to build a foundation for health, complementing dietary and lifestyle approaches with additional naturopathic treatments, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and supplements. Dr. Scarlett enjoys working with all patients interested in improving their health; she has a general family practice with particular interest in pediatrics, digestive and skin conditions, stress management, and mood disorders. Dr. Scarlett sees patients at Fourth & Alma Naturopathic Medical Centre in Vancouver, BC.  Please call 604.222.2433 or email info@naturopathicdocs.com to make an appointment today!  For more information, visit www.drscarlettcooper.com.

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