So, how do you enjoy breakfast? I’m an easy camper, happy with a slice of multigrain toast; or a tartine of toasted baguette with a scraping of good Normandy butter; or sometimes my favourite homemade fluffy brioche with apricot and lavender jam. If we have more time together as a family on Sundays, the ultimate treat are the flakiest, buttery croissants from the local boulangerie.
Breakfast cereal somehow dropped down the shopping list since I moved to France. Why? The answer is simply because of living in Paris. Wouldn’t you also be tempted, surrounded by all those amazing bakeries with croissants, pain au chocolats and pain aux raisins, to start the day?
So, each time I saw homemade granola on friends’ blogs, such as Kim of LivLife‘s lovely cinnamon and coconut cereal, I should have picked up on it like a good cereal blogger. Now I’m hooked, Antoine is hooked too – as are my parents and my French father-in-law goes nuts for this when he stays with us outside Paris.
We need our granola breakfast most mornings. It’s healthy and it’s delicious.
This recipe came about via an old thumbed Elle magazine at the orthodontist, while waiting for the girls after school. It was one of the only recipes that wasn’t ripped out: Granola Maison au sirop d’érable (Homemade Granola with Maple Syrup), so I tried it. Boy was it overly sweet! Read ridiculously sweet.
Healthy Maple Granola Recipe with No Added Sugar
It took many experiments to come to this to suit our family’s taste – not too many nuts, bigger oats please, plus the addition of graines de courges (pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds) for that extra crispy texture.
The magazine’s recipe has, as a result, changed beyond recognition and its original whopping 140 grams sugar (that’s 3/4 cup!) has now been omitted entirely.
No sugar is necessary; the dried fruits and the maple syrup are naturally sweet. You could use the coconut oil but I honestly prefer it with a neutral oil like grapeseed oil (huile de raisins). So here is our favourite homemade granola. However, please feel free to adapt the quantities and ingredients to your own liking after trying this recipe first!
Better for the Environment
However, the ‘downside’ of this recipe is that we love it so much that I need to make it once a week!
On a family budget, we have also cut down on costs and commercial packaging by going to our local organic health food store (La Vie Claire, Bio c Bon etc.). Here it’s easier to buy larger amounts in our re-usable bags (buying ‘en vrac’ in French) or bigger packs of oats and seeds- they’re even better quality too.
Also ensure that your ingredients are organic. Your body will thank you.
How to Serve Granola
Although we enjoy this maple granola recipe for breakfast, this is a healthy snack for any meal of the day (the French don’t snack in between meals but if you have to, then this is a better option).
In fact, for any time of year, as we eat granola with fresh berries in Summer; topped with rhubarb compote in Spring and even in the winter months, as the compote freezes well.
When no fresh berries are at hand, top with plenty of dried cranberries, golden sultana raisins, dried apricots or freeze-dried blueberries.
How to Keep Maple Granola Crispy
Your toasted homemade granola will remain crispy when kept in a sealed airtight tin or jar. Best stored in a cool, dry place and can keep at its best for up to 10 days.
Watch the video demonstration for chocolate and coconut granola, using the same maple granola recipe base.
- 300 g (10.5oz/2 cups) medium porridge oats *
- 50 g (2oz/1/3 cup) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 50 g (2oz/1/3 cup) sunflower seeds (or a mixture with flax, sesame)
- 100 g (3.5oz/3/4 cup) walnuts (broken)
- pinch salt fleur de sel
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 3 tbsp neutral oil I use grapeseed oil (or coconut oil, melted if solid)
- 75 g (5 tbsp) maple syrup organic
- 1 tbsp flaked/slivered almonds
- 100 g (3.5oz/3/4cup) dried cranberries (or dried blueberries/golden sultana raisins)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan)/340°F (Gas 3).
- Measure all the ingredients (except the almonds and dried fruits) in a large bowl and stir to mix them all well together.
- Grease a large rimmed baking tray with more oil or use a baking tray covered with baking paper (or a silicone mat/Silpat). Spread out the oat mixture by shaking the tray gently from side to side.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, turn over the mixture and sprinkle on the slivered almonds and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.Leave to cool then add the dried fruits.
This recipe was first published 13 March 2015 but text and images are now updated.
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